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Nutrition education initiatives in under-resourced communities

by Tyler Leigh Vivier
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Nutrition education is key to addressing health concerns and social stigma associated with diabetes in low-income communities.

Dunoon, South Africa (27 March 2024) – According to the International Diabetes Federation, one in nine South Africans has diabetes. Diets high in sugar and carbohydrates are a major cause of diabetes, especially in low-income areas where processed foods are more available and affordable.

The non-profit Noakes Foundation is working with a non-profit organization in the Western Cape to highlight how nutrition education efforts in under-resourced communities can address the health challenges and social stigma associated with diabetes. The survey was conducted in Dunoon, an official settlement.

“Diabetes is often seen as a death sentence in low-income communities because of a lack of understanding of how to manage it. Our research shows that healthy nutrition and the importance of We sought to find the best way to inform, engage and support people in these communities about the benefits of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet,” said Jane Bullen, Chief Operating Officer at The Company. says. The Noakes Foundation aims to challenge mainstream scientific thinking about the link between nutrition and chronic disease.

The research was conducted in partnership with Eat Better South Africa (EBSA), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the region’s public health system by establishing food security networks that focus on individuals and families. We evaluated the impact of EBSA’s nutrition education program by examining behavioral and metabolic health. Changes in patients with type 2 diabetes. The program aimed to reduce consumption of refined sugars and carbohydrates, while promoting accessible and nutritious alternatives.

As part of the study, participants will be required to share details about their lived experiences and how they can support people with diabetes in under-resourced communities through focus group discussions and one-on-one interviews. provided some insight into what’s going on.

“Participants often felt lonely because they didn’t want to burden their loved ones. They found it difficult to maintain a different diet than the rest of their family. Often, those around them were not supportive of their lifestyle changes or holistic approach to diabetes diagnosis. The support group aspect of the program provides a sense of community and makes it more The journey towards good nutrition has become easier,” explains Ballen.

Participants highlighted a lack of support from health professionals regarding dietary interventions as a treatment for diabetes.

“When participants were first diagnosed, most did not know that diabetes was a disease that could be managed with a healthy lifestyle,” says Ballen.

Participants’ blood markers, blood pressure, and physical measurements were recorded throughout the program. Baseline test results showed high blood sugar (sugar) levels. After the program, significant reductions in women’s weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure were recorded. The study also found that the program had a positive impact on participants’ eating habits, resulting in increased intake of animal protein and decreased intake of refined carbohydrates and sweets.

“Based on the results, it is clear that when people are given knowledge and support, they are more likely to actively manage their diabetes through dietary changes. “We are proud to be conducting research that shows the positive effects of comprehensive diabetes management in addressing people’s medical, social and emotional needs,” she added. Ta.

Source: Press release
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