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November is Diabetes Awareness Month: A healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk

By Renay Rouse

November 15, 2017

As we recognize November as diabetes awareness month, the Florida Department of Health in Martin County is urging residents to learn more about risk factors for the disease.

Diabetes is a lifelong disease that affects the way your body handles glucose, a kind of sugar in your blood. Risk factors for diabetes include being overweight, having a family history of the disease and not being physically active. There are different types of diabetes and a blood test from your healthcare provider can determine if you have diabetes.

In Florida, it is estimated that over 2.4 million people have diabetes and over 5.8 million have prediabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled in the last 20 years in the U.S.

Supporting Healthy Lifestyles in Martin County
Certified Diabetes Educator and Nurse Program Specialist, Marybeth Peña coordinates a series of healthy lifestyle programs to encourage families and individuals to exercise and prepare healthy meals. Programs include “Families in the Community Kitchen” which is offered at Martin County Public Libraries and the Golden Gate Center for Enrichment in Stuart. At the KinDoo Center in Indiantown, Peña launched a Health Ambassador program that encourages women to share their knowledge of health, diet, exercise and food culture with their community.

Families in the Community Kitchen – free community program
Golden Gate Center for Enrichment, 3225 SE Dixie Highway, Stuart
November 20 & December 18, 5:30 - 7:00 pm

To learn more about diabetes prevention: visit