Lions Club hosting diabetes conference at Hilo High

People 19 years old and younger in Hawaii are under assault by Type 2 diabetes. In that age group, 3,700 individuals develop Type 2 in the state each year, the Akaka Falls Lions Club reports. For context, that number is about triple the entire population of Kurtistown.

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People 19 years old and younger in Hawaii are under assault by Type 2 diabetes. In that age group, 3,700 individuals develop Type 2 in the state each year, the Akaka Falls Lions Club reports. For context, that number is about triple the entire population of Kurtistown.

Diabetes in young people was a trigger for the Lions Club to organize the 2017 Hawaii Island Diabetes Conference from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. today in the Hilo High School cafeteria. The conference is open to the public; admission is $5 per person.

Type 1 diabetes happens when the body’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that’s supposed to help regulate the body’s intake of nutrients. Type 2 develops when a person becomes resistant to insulin.

Nurse practitioner Michelle Soga, conference co-chairwoman, said eating habits that start early in a person’s life can affect the risk of Type 2. High school students might not know much about what carbohydrates are, what a healthy meal is or how fast calories add up when consuming soda, she said.

“I think everybody has something to learn from this conference,” Soga said.

Blayne Hanagami, district governor for the District 50 Hawaii Lions, said similar to soft drinks, the carb-rich “plate lunch” covered with gravy, macaroni salad, meat and a couple of scoops of rice as a daily happening can have bad effects. He said if he eats about 21 meals a week, he tries to make 14 of them healthier ones.

“We’re not saying don’t eat a typical plate lunch,” he said. Instead, try to mix in some healthier meals with fruits and veggies.

Big Island residents overall might find the conference important because 12 of every 100 adults now have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, according to the 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“As the number of people living with diabetes increases, so does the number of people with impaired vision,” the CDC report says, noting diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness.

The Lions Club has worked many years to prevent blindness, Hanagami said.

“Virtually everyone is touched by a family member with diabetes,” he said.

Hanagami hopes for a diversity of ages and other demographic characteristics among attendees. Native Hawaiians have the highest diabetes death rate of any ethnic group in the state, according to conference planners — 47 diabetes-related deaths per 100,000 annually.

The majority of Pacific Islanders and Asian-Americans with diabetes have Type 2, the Lions Club reports.

People who exercise and focus on diet can improve Type 2 and, in some cases, reverse it, research has revealed.

Soga said the Lions Club Vision Van will offer vision screenings at the conference and the University of Hawaii at Hilo School of Pharmacy will offer health screenings, including blood pressure and blood-glucose checks. If someone is worried about the possibility of diabetes, checking blood glucose is a quick way to tell if a visit to the doctor is needed.

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Conference presenters include endocrinologist Dr. Wilfred Fujimoto, optometrist Dr. Giezel Rivera, certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian Stacy Haumea, Blue Zones Project lead coordinator Jana Ortiz-Misiaszek and Audrey Wilson, Hawaii Tribune-Herald food columnist, who will do a cooking demonstration.

Email Jeff Hansel at jhansel@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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Lions Club hosting diabetes conference at Hilo High

People 19 years old and younger in Hawaii are under assault by Type 2 diabetes. In that age group, 3,700 individuals develop Type 2 in the state each year, the Akaka Falls Lions Club reports. For context, that number is about triple the entire population of Kurtistown.

Diabetes in young people was a trigger for the Lions Club to organize the 2017 Hawaii Island Diabetes Conference from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. today in the Hilo High School cafeteria. The conference is open to the public; admission is $5 per person.

ADVERTISING


Type 1 diabetes happens when the body’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that’s supposed to help regulate the body’s intake of nutrients. Type 2 develops when a person becomes resistant to insulin.

Nurse practitioner Michelle Soga, conference co-chairwoman, said eating habits that start early in a person’s life can affect the risk of Type 2. High school students might not know much about what carbohydrates are, what a healthy meal is or how fast calories add up when consuming soda, she said.

“I think everybody has something to learn from this conference,” Soga said.

Blayne Hanagami, district governor for the District 50 Hawaii Lions, said similar to soft drinks, the carb-rich “plate lunch” covered with gravy, macaroni salad, meat and a couple of scoops of rice as a daily happening can have bad effects. He said if he eats about 21 meals a week, he tries to make 14 of them healthier ones.

“We’re not saying don’t eat a typical plate lunch,” he said. Instead, try to mix in some healthier meals with fruits and veggies.

Big Island residents overall might find the conference important because 12 of every 100 adults now have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, according to the 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“As the number of people living with diabetes increases, so does the number of people with impaired vision,” the CDC report says, noting diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness.

The Lions Club has worked many years to prevent blindness, Hanagami said.

“Virtually everyone is touched by a family member with diabetes,” he said.

Hanagami hopes for a diversity of ages and other demographic characteristics among attendees. Native Hawaiians have the highest diabetes death rate of any ethnic group in the state, according to conference planners — 47 diabetes-related deaths per 100,000 annually.

The majority of Pacific Islanders and Asian-Americans with diabetes have Type 2, the Lions Club reports.

People who exercise and focus on diet can improve Type 2 and, in some cases, reverse it, research has revealed.

Soga said the Lions Club Vision Van will offer vision screenings at the conference and the University of Hawaii at Hilo School of Pharmacy will offer health screenings, including blood pressure and blood-glucose checks. If someone is worried about the possibility of diabetes, checking blood glucose is a quick way to tell if a visit to the doctor is needed.

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Conference presenters include endocrinologist Dr. Wilfred Fujimoto, optometrist Dr. Giezel Rivera, certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian Stacy Haumea, Blue Zones Project lead coordinator Jana Ortiz-Misiaszek and Audrey Wilson, Hawaii Tribune-Herald food columnist, who will do a cooking demonstration.

Email Jeff Hansel at jhansel@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiwarriorworld@staradvertiser.com.