published Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Diabetes event will highlight growing urgency

by Andrew Pantazi

Diabetes is not a subject that many people want to discuss.

But Cam Born, a spokeswoman for diabetes pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, will try to educate people to deal with the disease here this weekend.

On Saturday, educators and doctors will spend five hours at the 2 North Shore retail center talking about ways to control or prevent Type 2 diabetes by living more healthfully.

Born approached the retail center, located at 301 Manufacturers Road, about hosting a free event to mark American Diabetes Month.

"Nobody wants to talk about diabetes," Born said. "Nobody wants to deal with it. ... The most concerning aspect of this disease is the lack of knowledge surrounding how to prevent and how to treat the disease."

Tennessee is the fourth-most obese state in the nation with the fifth-most diabetic adults per capita, according to 2011 reports from the nonprofit Trust for America's Health.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2010 that 11.3 percent of Tennessee adults had diabetes. Closer to home 11.0 percent of Hamilton County adults had diabetes.

Meleah Smith, a spokeswoman for 2 North Shore, said the timing of the event will help people deal with holiday treats.

"We're gearing up a lot to make sure people enjoy the holidays fully and stay healthy," Smith said.

Participants at the Saturday event will hear from an endocrinologist, a nutritionist and diabetes educators about what causes Type 2 diabetes and how to control it. Free screenings, medical seminars, one-on-one consultations and glucose monitors will be given to those who attend the event.

The screenings are important, Born said, because many people who have diabetes don't realize it.

"One in three people have diabetes, whether knowing it or not knowing it," Born said. "This is an opportunity to come learn in an educational setting."

about Andrew Pantazi...

Andrew Pantazi is an intern at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who says that when he was 7 he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life: play hockey for the Colorado Avalanche. Unfortunately, he says he wasn't any good at hockey, so he became a journalist instead. He writes about the lives we hide, like the man who suffered a stroke but smiled, or the football walk-on who endured 5 ...

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