Newswise — CHICAGO – In wake of new data showing more than 29 million Americans have diabetes and 86 million adults have prediabetes, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is reinforcing the importance of a lifelong healthful eating plan, developed with a registered dietitian nutritionist, in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.
“The figures released last week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a good reminder of the importance of eating healthfully and getting plenty of physical activity to help prevent and manage serious diseases like diabetes,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Sonja Connor.
Also highlighted in the report is the economic impact of the diabetes epidemic. In 2012, diabetes and its related complications cost $245 billion in total medical costs and lost work and wages.
“The CDC’s data underscore the importance of registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered in preventing disease and improving the health of people with diabetes. It also reinforces the Academy’s advocacy work to improve care for people with diabetes and prediabetes by supporting initiatives and legislation like the proposed National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act,” Connor said.
This legislation, now before Congress, creates a commission comprised of diabetes experts, including registered dietitian nutritionists and other specialists who treat the complications of diabetes. The goal of the commission is to streamline federal investments to improve the coordination and clinical care outcomes for people with diabetes and prediabetes.
The Academy is determined to move the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act forward to improve care for people with diabetes and prediabetes. Today, the Academy is asking its 75,000 members to send letters to their members of Congress urging them to cosponsor this bill.
“Academy members understand the importance of prevention, which is why we also support the Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act to help stop cases of diabetes in the Medicare population,” Connor said. “By increasing patients’ access to medical nutrition therapy provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist, individuals with prediabetes or those at risk for diabetes can finally receive the treatment they need.”
“We look forward to working with our nation’s political leaders to ensure patients have access to effective, coordinated care for better health,” Connor said.
To learn more about eating healthfully to prevent and treat diabetes, or to find a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area, visit www.EatRight.org.
All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy’s Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use “registered dietitian nutritionist” (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org