"Strengthening Community and Healthcare Links to Address
Diabetes and Obesity" will be the theme of the 12th annual Alabama Diabetes and
Obesity Conference, Nov. 22 in the Second Floor Auditorium of the Montgomery
County Health Department.
The Montgomery County Health Department is located at 3060 Mobile
Sponsored by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the
Alabama Diabetes Network and the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Alabama
Diabetes Program, the conference is tailored to health professionals as well as
the general public.
A major objective of the conference will be identifying effective
strategies for preventing diabetes with a special emphasis on the establishment
of prediabetes awareness programs.
Conference presentations will also address the vision changes
associated with diabetes with a major emphasis on accessing the signs of vision
impairment that often accompany the disease.
Another emphasis will be on the importance of regular waist
circumference measurements. Research has
demonstrated that waist size is a major factor in the development of
diabetes. Nutrition and health experts
emphasize that these circumferences should not exceed more than 35 inches for
women and 40 inches for men.
The conference will also debut "Every Inch Matters Wellness
Waistline Measure" to at-risk audiences.
"Our hope is that this effort will encourage more Alabamians
to undertake regular waist circumference measures and also to take other
proactive measures to reduce the risk of Type-2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke
and other chronic diseases," says Dr. Evelyn Crayton, a registered dietitian, Alabama
Extension nutritionist and Auburn University professor in the Department of
Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality.
As in previous years, the conference will also include an
update on the diabetes epidemic and its close association with obesity. The morning session will begin with an overview
of obesity and chronic diseases in Alabama by Dr. Donald Williamson, the health
officer with the Alabama Department of Public Health, and Dr. Jim McVay,
director of Health Promotion/Disease management with the Alabama Department of
Shakita Jones, representing Alabama Arise, will discuss the
Affordable Care Act and its implications for diabetes care.
Following several other presentations, Dr. Mark Swanson,
associate professor of optometry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham,
will discuss eye health within diabetes context.
Kathy Biggs, director of Health Promotion/Disease Management
at East Alabama Medical Center, will follow with an update on the Alabama
Obesity Task Force.
Later in the afternoon, Dr. Fernando Ovalle of Kirkland
Clinic Endocrinology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will discuss Type-2
diabetes self-management education.
Since its inception, the conference has become a major focus
of efforts to combat these closely related diseases.
"For the past 11 years, the Alabama Diabetes Conference has
provided a forum through which many of the state’s leading public health
authorities and researchers share cutting-edge information with those involved
on the frontlines of this epidemic —
dietitians, nurses, nutrition educators and child care providers," Crayton
Registration, which will cover all handouts, continuing
education credits and lunch, will be $10 for students and unemployed community
residents and $20 for all others, and it must be completed by Nov. 11. Checks should be made payable to the Alabama Cooperative
Extension System. Please include "Diabetes
Workshop" on the check.
For more information, contact Dr. Evelyn Crayton, Alabama
Cooperative Extension System, 231 Duncan Hall, Auburn University, AL,
36849-5654 or call (334) 844-2224.
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