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More than 29 million people in the United States (or nearly 10% of the total population) have diabetes—a term given to a group of diseases marked by high blood sugar and abnormal production and/or function of the hormone insulin.

Because diabetics have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and even premature death, organizations like the American Diabetes Association (ADA) strive to help raise awareness about who it affects and why. American Diabetes Month®, celebrated each November, is an important part of their efforts.

The theme this year—America Gets Cooking to Stop Diabetes®—focuses on inspiring people to eat (and cook) healthier foods and to stay active throughout the year. Events will take place throughout the month to help bring people together in an effort to learn more about the link between a healthy lifestyle and diabetes prevention, and on their website the ADA will spotlight ideas and activities for families and individuals.

Want to know more? View previous blogs for additional information
and tips on diabetes prevention and management:

 

Review: Diet Critical to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention and Control (includes 5 simple tips for improving diet quality!)

Kids & Diabetes Study, Plus 4 Tips for Parents (hint: your children are counting on YOU to set the example)

New Study Shows Nuts are Good for Your Heart, Blood Sugar (and other reasons why you should add a handful of nuts to your daily diet)

Study: Obese Preschoolers at Risk for Health Problems Earlier in Adulthood (and yes, that includes diabetes)

High Blood Sugar Not a Problem? Think Again. (this eye-opening infographic says it all!)

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As part of the healthystuff.org project, researchers from The Ecology Center recently tested more than 100 Halloween-themed items including costumes, treat bags and decorations available from well-known retailers. The scary part? Those products contained an alarming number of hidden toxins, including brominated flame retardants, lead, phthalates and tin compounds—all of which have been linked to developmental and behavioral problems in children. Click here to read more.

5 Quick Tips for a Safe and Healthy Halloween:

  1. Decorate Naturally. Use pumpkins, gourds and hay bales to create a haunting scene, and try to reuse holiday decorations from year to year. Choose fragrance-free candles made from bee, palm or soy wax to avoid petroleum byproducts.
  2. Create Low-impact Costumes for Kids. Rather than choosing a store-bought costume, get creative with items you already own or can get used from a local resale shop or from friends. Consider organizing a costume swap at your child’s school.
  3. Choose Play Makeup Carefully. Children love to wear colorful cosmetics as part of their costumes. If they do, make sure they use safe, non-toxic products and apply them as directed.
  4. Skip the Hairspray. Kids can easily breathe in sprays, many of which contain toxic chemicals, colors and fragrances. Find a great hat or wig instead, or create a fun hair-do with ribbons, barrettes and safer, non-spray hair products.
  5. Avoid Synthetic Facemasks and Teeth. Masks and fake teeth are made from a variety of synthetic materials that aren’t always labeled. Plastics may be softened with endocrine-disrupting phthalates. Make your own mask instead from simple materials; masquerade-style masks are fun to create with kids.

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