Article Text

  1. N. A. Thomas
  1. Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA


Purpose Adult onset, type 2 diabetes mellitus is a serious epidemic. Between 17 and 26 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes, 90% of them have adult-onset diabetes. In Orofino, Idaho, type 2 diabetes mellitus is quickly reaching epidemic proportions. Balancing medications with healthy eating is one of the key aspects of successfully managing this disease. A community project was designed to study potential barriers to the successful self-management of diabetes as well as to identify possible areas where increased community education could provide additional support to patients with this disease.

Methods To identify challenges to diabetes self-management, time was spent speaking with patients and accompanying certified diabetes educator, physician assistant Hal Joseph diabetes clinic. A literature search was conducted using PubMed to research challenges to diabetes self-care.

Summary Eating away from home at restaurants was frequently presented as a barrier to successful carbohydrate intake maintenance. Increased access to low carbohydrate options could help make restaurant outings less of a healthy eating pitfall. To address this challenge local restaurants were visited during off hours and approached regarding the availability of low carbohydrate options. All the restaurants offered low carbohydrate options and the majority of local restaurants were receptive towards adjusting the marketing of low carbohydrate options, making them more apparent for their diabetic patrons. A focused community based project, involving patients and local experts, can be an effective method of identifying new approaches to local health problems.

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