Presentation Inspiration: Diabetes

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 9.3% of all Americans have diabetes. That’s over 29 million people!

Over the years, my team and I have devoted ourselves to creating materials that can help you help people manage diabetes in a healthful way, and today I want to draw your attention to one resource in particular.

The Gold Member PowerPoint Archive.

This archive features hundreds of compelling PowerPoint presentations that you can use anytime. Available solely to gold members of the Food and Health family, the presentation library addresses a wide range of topics, including…

  • Cooking
  • Diabetes
  • Fad Diets
  • Health
  • Heart
  • Holiday
  • Hot Topics
  • Kids
  • MyPlate
  • Nutrition
  • Vegetarian
  • Weight
  • Wellness

Today, because of those crazy statistics, I want to offer a sneak peek into one of our most popular diabetes presentations. If you like what you see, consider a membership today!

The following is from Diabetes 101, a presentation that covers the basics of life with diabetes…

This show is comprehensive, beginning by addressing the causes of and statistics about gestational diabetes, type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes. It then covers common diabetes vocabulary words — everything from insulin to pancreas — before diving into the ABCs of diabetes management. The show ends with an exploration of meal planning with diabetes, and this exploration is as comprehensive as the rest of the presentation, addressing carbohydrate counting, protein servings, types of fat, and the importance of fiber.

Today we’re going to take an abbreviated look at the ABCs of diabetes management.

When it comes to successfully managing your diabetes and staying healthy, it’s important to remember your ABCs. In this case, A stands for A1C, B stands for blood pressure, and C stands for cholesterol levels. Let’s explore each one in more detail, shall we?

A1C is the “A” of diabetes management, and it’s a measure of the amount of glycated hemoglobin in the blood… So why on earth should this matter to you? Well, this number is a good indication of your blood glucose levels over the past few months.

When it comes to interpreting this measurement, you should know that the higher the number is, the greater your risk is of having some kind of diabetes-related complication. This could affect your heart, kidneys, or eyes!

The “B” of diabetes management is blood pressure. Do you know what your numbers are?

Blood pressure is a measure of the force your blood exerts against your artery walls. It’s recorded in two numbers, which are then stacked on top of each other. The top number is your systolic pressure. That’s the measure of the force on your artery walls when your heart beats. The bottom number is called diastolic pressure, and that’s the force on your artery walls between heartbeats.

Blood pressure is important for everyone, but it’s especially important if you have diabetes because having diabetes raises your risk of heart disease. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes keep their blood pressure below 140/90 (source) but less is better of course!

Cholesterol is the third part of the ABCs of diabetes. Like blood pressure, your cholesterol levels are indicators of heart health. It’s wise to get your cholesterol checked at least once a year. When you get those levels checked, you’ll likely learn about your triglycerides, HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, and total cholesterol levels. Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail, shall we?

I’m afraid we’re going to end on a cliffhanger here. I had to eliminate a few slides with more details for each of the letters in this section in order to fit the parameters of a “sneak peek,” but there’s an idea of what you can get as a gold member of the Food and Health family! I hope you enjoyed it and that it will be useful to your clients.

The #1 Way to Prevent Foodborne Illness

Wash Your HandsYou’ve probably seen these signs posted in public restrooms — in fact, health departments in most states require them for restaurant and food service workers.

What signs am I talking about?

The handwashing signs. You know, the ones that state: “Employees must wash their hands before going back to work.”

While I do feel strongly that all employees must wash their hands after using the restroom, I really wonder if the signs make a difference. Would you remember to wash your hands after seeing this sign if you weren’t inclined to do it anyway?

That said, if these signs remind just one worker, it’s a plus.

But now I want to talk about a different sign I saw recently. On the back of the door of a fast food restaurant, I found a sign that said “Our employees wash their hands… and so should you!”

YEAH!

Handwashing is considered the number one way to prevent foodborne illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (aka the CDC) call handwashing a “do-it-yourself” vaccine that you can do to reduce the spread of illness.

Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities (like going to the restroom) is one of the best ways to remove germs and prevent the spread of germs to others.

You see, human feces are a source of germs like salmonella, E.coli, and norovirus. These pathogens can get onto hands after people use the restroom. Research by Franks et al. in 1998 showed that a single gram of human feces can contain one trillion germs. If not washed off, these germs can contaminate surfaces like tabletops, door knobs, and handrails, along with getting into food and drinks.

YUCK!

Now I know that this isn’t rocket science, or even new information. I was recently teaching food safety at a local restaurant and they showed me an old sign in their employee restroom. They said it has been there since 1958, before they owned the restaurant. It’s still hanging next to the current version of the handwashing sign.  Perhaps the two signs together will at least catch the attention of their workers.
I like what this older sign say “State law and COMMON DECENCY… require that every food handler wash his hands after a visit to a toilet…” and so should you.

By Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS, Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University

Help spread the word about the importance of handwashing with this fantastic PDF handout!

Wash Your Hands

And here are a few more health and wellness resources, straight from the Nutrition Education Store!

Flu Prevention Poster

Food Safety Video

Healthy Kitchen Poster

Preventing the Spread of Norovirus

Cruise Ship in PortIt seems like every couple of months we hear about a cruise ship that came back to port because of an illness outbreak on board. Does this make you want to think twice (or three times) about getting on a cruise ship?

We went on a fairly long cruise last year that had very few ports of call. We knew that once we got on the ship we were going to be there for the duration.

Yes, I gave this a second thought. What if we got sick? It could be miserable. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a small ship’s cabin when you have diarrhea and vomiting.

Quite frequently the illness found on cruise ships is a norovirus. It can be introduced into a cruise ship by passengers or crew members alike. Why cruise ships? Well, on a cruise, lots of people from all over the world come together to live in confined areas with shared dining rooms and close living quarters.

Norovirus is highly contagious and one of the most common pathogens to cause a foodborne illness. Norovirus is frequently transferred by food handlers dealing with ready-to-eat food.

The symptoms of norovirus include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps. These symptoms can develop within a few hours or a few days after a person is infected and can last for a couple days. People with norovirus are contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill, and they can remain contagious for up to two weeks after the symptoms appear.

Most norovirus illnesses happen when infected people spread the virus to others. It can also be spread through contaminated food or water, or by touching things that have the virus on them.

You think this is scary for a cruise passenger — think how concerned the cruise companies are about it! Turning a ship around because of a norovirus outbreak could cost them plenty, not only financially but also in terms of reputation.

I have to say that I was very impressed with the efforts the staff of our cruise ship made to prevent the spread of an infectious virus.

Sinks for WashingFor example, we saw our cabin steward the first day and then not again. I asked about him and was told he was sick and confined to his cabin for the rest of the cruise. Employees exposed to norovirus need to be restricted from work with food for at least 48 hours from the time of exposure.

Moreover, the cruise directors announced that officers would not be shaking hands at the special Captain’s Reception. This abstention helps to prevent passing the virus from person-to-person — very proactive.

However, I did make a mistake one morning.

I was heading to a container of ice water to refill my water bottle and was stopped by a crew member. He said that I could transfer germs from my previously-used water bottle to the tip of the water container, and then that could spread to others. I hadn’t thought of that — what a good catch!

Here are some more steps that the ship took to help reduce the spread of disease.

  • Signs around the ship and on the television constantly reminded passengers to wash their hands.
  • There were sanitizer dispensers throughout the ship. Some were strategically placed outside the entrances of dining rooms and buffets. While sanitizers should not be used in place of proper handwashing, it was a better option than doing nothing.
  • I found handwashing sinks near some of the out-of-the way eating locations.
  • The burger place near the pool had a sink inside the restaurant and encouraged folks to wash their hands before selecting food and eating. (Unfortunately I didn’t see many people using it).
  • When a higher-than-expected number of passengers or crew become sick, ships implement additional cleaning procedures and use disinfectants to stop the illness. The staff worked tirelessly to keep on top of this.

I didn’t hear of any illnesses on our ship. In reality, only about 1% of all reported norovirus outbreaks are on cruise ships. Visit this website to see the sanitation records of most of the cruise ships that dock in the United States. You’ll want to check it out before you commit to a specific cruise line or ship.

Now let’s take those lessons into day-to-day life.

You can reduce your chances of getting infected with norovirus by making certain to wash your hands often and well. Wash them frequently after touching high-hand-contact surfaces like doorknobs, elevator buttons, and railings.

Wash your hands after going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, and each time you return to your home.

Handwashing before eating and drinking is also important, not just using sanitizer. If water and soap are not available, use an ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizer, preferably in a gel form. The sanitizer should be at least 60% alcohol.

I hope this helps you avoid illness this year!

By Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS, Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University

Here’s a free printable handout with ways that you can reduce your risk of contracting norovirus and other ills!

Avoid Norovirus

And here are some other amazing resources from the Nutrition Education Store!

Nutrition Poster

Flu Prevention PowerPoint

Nutrition Stickers

Where Does the Information Come From?

How does Food and Health get the information it offers?

I’ve been asked that question a lot lately, and since I’m so proud of the answer, I want to share it with you. After all, it’s important to get your information from sources that are trustworthy and accurate. How else are you going to have confidence in what you offer your clients?

Dietry Guidelines for Americans

So, let’s start with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The Dietary Guidelines are our gold standard and the base for many of our materials and articles. To make the guidelines, a committee of university professors go through the latest peer-reviewed journals and distill the most important information into a document for the public. These guidelines are updated every five years, and a new update is just around the corner!

MyPlate is also a key player on our stage. Put forward by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), MyPlate is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and offers a guide to what people should eat each day, along with descriptions of the health impact of various foods. MyPlate is key to the health and nutrition policies of many government agencies and public schools.

MyPlate in Schools

Of course, we don’t stop there! We constantly monitor government agencies and associations for news updates and scientific information. Here are the heavy hitters…

Checking in with the American Heart Association

Now let’s talk about our team. After all, what we do with the information is almost as important as where we get it, right?

Our professionally-accredited editors and advisory board members evaluate the data, looking for practical information, updates, and opinions from private and public practices. Then they put everything into plain language that highlights the key points.

 

After that, we arrange everything into aesthetically-pleasing and engaging handouts and blog posts with the help of our artists and web team. Our chef often creates related materials to help make sticking to these health recommendations easier. After all, it’s more fun to eat healthfully when the food also looks delicious and tastes good, right?

But the bottom line is that we stick to peer-reviewed science that you can trust.

Discussing New Findings

In fact, we don’t accept any industry advertising whatsoever. That way, we never feel compelled to protect our sponsors or present any information in a different light that might be less harmful to foods that aren’t good for our health. Since we don’t receive advertising dollars, we don’t have to appease our advertisers. Instead, we can focus on you.

So there you have it. A closer look at our information, how we present it and where we get it. I hope you enjoyed it!

Want to see how we put that information to good use? Here are some of our favorite heath and nutrition educational materials…

Dietary Guidelines for Americans Poster Set

6 Lessons of Heart Health PowerPoint and Handout Set

Premium Diabetes Education Kit

Oh, and as a special bonus, I’ve included a copy of the handout that comes with the Freedom from Chronic Disease poster. Want a PDF version that’s all your own? Get your copy right here!Freedom from Chronic Disease