Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bob Harper To Type 2 Diabetics: 'Step It Up'

NBC-TV's "The Biggest Loser" trainer Bob Harper (a fan of my blog, BTW!) partnered up with the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) last week to help educate people with Type 2 diabetes about what they need to do to manage their disease and live a better life.

The initiative is called Diabetes & You: Step It Up to Get It Down and it incorporates practical ways for Type 2 diabetics to reach their target A1C goal of 6.5 percent or lower through behavior and dietary modification.

Here are the 6.5 Steps Toward Better Blood Sugar Control they promote:

1. Be honest with yourself. Diabetes can be tough, but it doesn't have to control you.

2. Think about your reasons for living a healthier life and feeling better. Always keep them in mind.

3. Team up with your doctor or other healthcare professional to make a plan. This plan may include taking one or more medicines. You are in this together with the same goals.

4. Make healthy eating and regular physical activity part of your life.

5. Check your blood sugar as often as your doctor tells you and know your A1C number. A1C is your average blood sugar level for the past 2 to 3 months.

6. No quitting. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never give up!

6.5. The HALF STEP - Getting started is HALF the battle!!!

These recommendations are a great place for many people with Type 2 diabetes to begin taking their disease seriously. Other than #5, this same gameplan can work for people who are overweight or obese as well! :D

My only concern with the plan as it is outlined is the fact that it leaves the "healthy eating" definition up to the individual rather than explaining the various nutritional approaches which have been found to improve diabetic symptoms.

For example, this recent study from Duke University found that a low-carbohydrate diet was an effective way to not only treat diabetes, but even improve the disease to the point that the patient no longer needs to take medicine or not as much medicine to control it. This is revolutionary, cutting-edge information that should be communicated quite clearly to diabetics so they can be fully informed about what to do with their disease.

Harper admits that diabetes has become an "epidemic" which has impacted 73 million Americans who are either currently diabetic or pre-diabetic. But he doesn't believe that reality should cause people to give up doing something about their diabetes.

"Through my years of coaching and training, I've worked with many people with type 2 diabetes and seen how hard it can be to live with this condition," Harper said. "But I learned that anyone can change their life. It's all about finding the right tools and motivation. I'm challenging people with type 2 diabetes to step it up. It's your body -- take charge today!"

WOO HOO, you tell 'em, Bob! That's why people like him so much because he lays it all out there for people to see while remaining compassionate about the people he is working with. I noticed that quite clearly in my interview with him last year.

Because of his personal commitment to see people change their lives, Harper has agreed to offer personal coaching to people who want to accept this challenge to get their blood sugar under control. Just like he helps contestants from all over the country learn to eat better and exercise more on "The Biggest Loser," so too is Harper doing the same for these diabetic patients who want to live a better life. The 6.5 Steps web site will follow these patients and track their progress to help motivate and inspire others with Type 2 diabetes to do the same.

The reason this program was created came out of the startling study that found two out of every three Americans with Type 2 diabetes failed to keep their blood sugar under control. Yikes! That means most of them were letting their A1C levels to go above 6.0 percent which puts them in danger of some very serious and possible fatal complications, including stroke, heart attack and loss of limbs. But this disease is manageable and can be kept at bay if the person with it takes the appopriate actions to keep it under control.

If you have Type 2 diabetes and want to learn more about this Step It Up program, then you can call them toll-free at 1-877-6-5-STEPS or visit them on the Internet at While you are online at their web site, be sure to sign up for the free sweepstakes to become eligible to win some neat prizes, including a special one-on-one telephone coaching session with Bob Harper himself as well as a free one-year membership to a gym. Cool deal!

Interestingly, guess who is funding this project to help diabetics? The phamaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. I suppose there are some drug companies who really do want to see people taking their medicines get better. We can only hope!

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Blogger Newbirth said...

Yep. My Dad doesn't control his at all and I don't think he ever wants to anymore. He's in his 80s and probably figures he doesn't have long to live anyway.

6/12/2006 12:21 AM  

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