Knowledge is Key in the Fight Against Diabetes

Gwen Wagner

Gwen Wagner

Post written by Gwenyth Wagner, DNP, APRN

November is National Diabetes Month.

This month, organizations across the country will band together to bring awareness about prediabetes and diabetes which affects more than 100 million U.S. Adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 30.3 million people in the United States have Diabetes, and 84.1 million people have Prediabetes.

You are at risk for developing prediabetes if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Are 45 years or older
  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Are physically active less than three times a week
  • Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighed more than nine pounds
  • Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, or Alaska Native (some Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are also at higher risk)

The good news is that you can prevent or reverse prediabetes with lifestyle changes such as losing weight if you are overweight, eating healthier and getting regular physical activity.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to eat well. The first step is to make an appointment with your health care provider and discuss what changes you can make to your diet to improve your health.

The CDC recommends that half of your nine-inch plate be filled with non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots.

One-quarter of your plate should contain lean protein such as chicken, fish or lean beef. The remaining one-quarter of your plate should contain a whole grain or starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, peas or winter squash. You can also eat a small amount of fresh fruit.

Diabetes graphic

When you are grocery shopping, your cart should look like your plate. Half of your food items should be non-starchy vegetables like lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, spinach, mushrooms, onions and peppers.

The rest of the cart should have lean proteins, whole grains, fruit, dairy, beans and starchy vegetables such as corn, peas, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, zucchini and yams.

Here are a few tips to make grocery shopping easier:

  • Don’t go to the store hungry.
  • Make a list before you go to the store.
  • Shop the perimeter of the store first. This is usually where the healthiest foods are located!
  • Don’t purchase items that are not in your meal plan.
  • If you have favorite foods, discuss with your dietitian, how to manage eating them occasionally.
  • While at the store, don’t linger in aisles with tempting foods.

For more information and helpful tips about managing your diabetes, visit the CDC’s website at

To find out if you are prediabetic, take the quiz at This website is also a source for Diabetes Prevention Programs in the Kansas City area. Juntos provides Diabetes Prevention Classes in Spanish at HPC. Call today to find out how you can register…913-725-8676!

At HPC, we provide patient education and chronic disease management.  Though dietary measures are key in prevention and can be helpful in controlling diabetes, diet changes alone are not always enough to manage this disease. Be sure to talk to your provider about what treatment is best for you. To schedule an appointment to see a provider, call 913-648-2266.

Know Your Numbers – What is Your Risk for Diabetes?

Author: Daphne Ayn Bascom, MD PhD
Senior Vice President, Community Integrated Health
YMCA of Greater Kansas City

Dr Daphne Bascom

Daphne Ayn Bascom, MD PhD

As diabetes rates continue to rise, do you know your risk?

The YMCA of Greater Kansas City is encouraging the community to learn about the risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and adopt healthy habits.

Take these three preventive steps to potentially avoid developing the disease:

  1. Learn about prediabetes.
  2. Assess your risks.
  3. Make small changes to your lifestyle.

You likely already know someone affected by diabetes or prediabetes, or are affected yourself. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that more than one in three Americans (84 million people) have prediabetes.

Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it. But with awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.


In Kansas and Missouri, we have an opportunity to take charge of our health and educate others about diabetes and prediabetes. Diabetes rates continue to rise, and the rates of people with diabetes and prediabetes in Missouri and Kansas are higher than the national averages.


  • 13.2 percent of the adult population (approximately 699,992 people), have diabetes, compared to 9.4 percent of the total US population.
  • Of these, an estimated 152,000 have diabetes but don’t know it.
  • 35.9 percent of the adult population (1.6 million people), have prediabetes, compared to 33 percent nationwide.
  • Every year an estimated 32,000 people in Missouri are diagnosed with diabetes.


  • 12.6 percent of the adult population (approximately 293,860 people), have diabetes, compared to 9.4 percent nationwide.
  • Of these, an estimated 69,000 have diabetes but don’t know it.
  • 35.5 percent of the adult population (749,000 people in Kansas), have prediabetes, compared to 33 percent nationwide.
  • Every year an estimated 15,000 people in Kansas are diagnosed with diabetes.


YMCA Guest Blog DPP Flyer Pic 2As one of the leading community-based charities committed to improving the health of the greater Kansas City area, the Y wants members of our community to understand their risk for prediabetes and to take steps to avoid developing type 2 diabetes.

Developing type 2 diabetes not only puts a tremendous strain on our health care system but impacts the lives of millions of people and their families each year.

Assess your risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at Through this assessment, you can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk of developing the disease.

Making some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living can decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.

  • Eat fruits and vegetables every day. A plant-strong diet is a great way of reducing your risk.
  • Choose fish, lean meats and poultry without skin.
  • Aim for whole grains with every meal.
  • Be moderately active, getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
  • Choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.
  • Sleep is an important part of your health and well-being. Good sleep hygiene can help reduce your risk of diabetes and obesity.
  • Speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history or are overweight.


The YMCA of Greater Kansas City is helping to improve the health of our community. We offer programs including the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and the Y Weight Loss Program.

We also offer additional programs and seminars designed to help you make small lifestyle changes that can help improve your health and reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Membership at the Y is NOT required to participate in many of these programs.

To learn more about the YMCA of Greater Kansas City’s Health and Wellness Programs, please contact program coordinators Madison Eiberger or Rubi Lopez at or 816-285-8050.