The Diabetes and Obesity Link

  • November 25, 2020

November is American Diabetes Month. Diabetes is a chronic health condition that happens when your body can’t correctly process glucose (also known as blood sugar).  According to the American Diabetic Association, Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Having it means that your body doesn’t make enough insulin, characterized by high blood sugar, or doesn’t use the insulin your body makes. High levels of sugar build-up in your blood can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease.

What causes diabetes?

There are many factors that can trigger diabetes. Genetics, especially if you’re Black or Latino, and unhealthy life style choices such as smoking, can greatly increase your risk for having diabetes.

Obesity, having a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or more, also makes you more likely a candidate to develop diabetes. Obesity causes significant changes in your body functions, namely your inflammatory response and fat metabolism. Abdominal obesity, lack of physical activity and poor nutrition can also put you at a much higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Center of Excellence in Diabetes Prevention and Obesity at Whittier Street Health Center

If you’re struggling with your weight and worried that you may be at risk for diabetes, you can be screened at the Center of Excellence in Diabetes Prevention and Obesity at Whittier Street Health Center. WSHC’s diabetic management clinic offers a range of services for diabetes screening, treatment, and education to reduce symptoms and prevent diabetes complications. Patients are also educated on diabetes prevention, risk factors, monitoring and treatment at home and diabetic diet management.

“Eating healthy is an important part of managing diabetes, and combined with regular exercise and a healthy weight, can prevent complications. I help patients to include more healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grain bread, brown rice, fruits, and low-fat dairy, and find strategies to control their blood sugars that work with their schedule.” Said Anna Bondy, MPH, RD, LDN, Whittier Street Health Center.

The main goals for our diabetes group is for our patients to:

  • Attain individualized glycemic, blood pressure, and lipid goals
  • Delay or prevent the complications of diabetes
  • Maintain the pleasure of eating, by providing positive messages about healthy food choices, and portion control. We provide patients with practical tools for day-to-day meal planning rather than focusing on individual nutrients.
  • Attain modest weight loss which can be achieved through lifestyle interventions, such as nutrition, physical activity, and behavior change with ongoing support.

If your body is in the prediabetes stage, it’s not too late to reverse the effects. With a healthy diet and proper exercise and food coaching, you can lower your risk for diabetes. Contact the nutrition specialists at Whittier Street Community Health Center to help.  Ask your primary care doctor if to see if our team may be of help to you.

Anna Bondy, MPH, RD, LDN is a registered dietician and diabetes educator WSHC’s Weight Management and Wellness Clinic.

A note about Whittier and COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in our area, we ask all clients and patients to call ahead before coming to any of our sites. We are working to take care of most clients/patients via phone/video encounter so we can meet your ongoing healthcare needs. This is for your safety and so we can provide the highest quality of care to you while following CDC guidance for COVID-19. Please call 617-427-1000 for any questions or concerns.

Whittier will provide COVID-19 testing from 10 am to 4 pm on Monday to Friday. Following CDC guidance, we recommend testing if you have a fever AND one of the following three symptoms: cough OR shortness of breath OR sore throat. Please bring your picture identification and your insurance card (if you have insurance).