Select the graphic to launch a simple interactive bubble plot from CDC data, to allow you to see the diabetes trend from 1994 to 2010 for yourself.

 As many as one-third of Americans could have diabetes by 2050, based upon CDC estimates. Georgia, in particular, has a significant problem and it is trending upward. Compared to a decade ago, the number of Georgians diagnosed with diabetes is up 6.1% based upon CDC data. The Atlanta Journal Constitution posted a great article on the diabetes problem in Georgia. It ends with a quote from Dr. Harry Strothers, president of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, who states “Cultural change is hard.” Yes. Change can be hard and cultural change may be harder, but we must keep trying.

 

I interact with many health professionals, including medical doctors and nurses, frequently in my vocation. However, some of the most influential messages and advice I have received that stuck with me have come from competitive athletes, personal trainers, yogis and martial artists.  A recent conversation with teacher, martial artist and Brazilian Capoeira Mestre, Francisco Rodrigues da Silva, provided a quote that I now include in any discussion I have about health and wellness programs. Mestre Fran, as he is called, stated quite simply, “…remember that health enters through the mouth.”

 

It really does take courage and resolve to say “no thanks” when offered things not necessarily on our food program. Desserts, a candy bowl or real southern fried delicacies like fish or chicken – are hands down so tempting. However, Georgia, we must take on this challenge and take pride in more “old sweet songs” and keep health on our minds.