A new study, indicating that Americans have approximately a 40 percent risk of developing diabetes during their lifetime, offers more evidence that nutrition counseling provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist can help prevent or delay diabetes and its related health problems through lifestyle and dietary changes, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
"Health professionals are in agreement that nutrition services are one of the first treatments individuals should receive to improve conditions such as diabetes and its related complications," said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy Spokesperson Angela Ginn.
The study, by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, says: "Continued increases in the incidence of diagnosed diabetes combined with declining mortality have led to an acceleration of lifetime risk and more years spent with diabetes, but fewer years lost to the disease for the average individual with diabetes. These findings mean that there will be a continued need for health services and extensive costs to manage the disease, and emphasize the need for effective interventions to reduce incidence."
"Research has shown that weight loss through moderate diet changes and physical activity plays a significant role in preventing or delaying diabetes and its complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage and other health problems. A registered dietitian nutritionist is one of your best resources for developing a plan to make these lifestyle changes," said Ginn, who is also a certified diabetes educator.
"For those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, an RDN can create an eating plan tailored just for you, taking into account your weight, medicines, lifestyle and other health problems you may have. The expert advice of an RDN can help you manage your diabetes while ensuring you get the nutrients your body needs."
RDNs often work as part of a medical team, in many practice settings, such as hospitals, physician offices, private practice and other health care facilities, and medical nutrition therapy provided by an RDN is covered by numerous insurance plans including Medicare Part B.
"Check with your insurance plan for specific medical nutrition therapy coverage details. Your plan may cover nutrition counseling for chronic conditions and health concerns like diabetes and prediabetes. Together with a registered dietitian nutritionist, you can set nutrition goals to improve your health," Ginn said.
"Ask your doctor if a referral for medical nutrition therapy provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist is right for you. With a physician's referral, you can make an appointment to see the RDN at your local hospital outpatient department, physician clinic or at an RDN's practice near your home."
For help developing a healthful eating plan that can help prevent the onset of diabetes, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area.
- Edward W Gregg, Xiaohui Zhuo, Yiling J Cheng, Ann L Albright, K M Venkat Narayan, Theodore J Thompson. Trends in lifetime risk and years of life lost due to diabetes in the USA, 1985–2011: a modelling study. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70161-5
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