Hawai‘i Island HEAL Recognizes Diabetes Awareness Month

Saturday, November 18, began early for those participating in the PATH/LavaKids Family Fun Run & Walk at the West Hawai’i Civic Center in Kailua Kona. Community organizations joined forces to celebrate the new trail wayfinding (mileage) markers on the Queen’s Lei Trail and highlight Diabetes Awareness Month. This event, open to all ages, helped promote a healthy and active lifestyle for the whole family through running or walking.

People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawai’i (PATH) and Hawai‘i Public Health Institute’s Hawai‘i Island Healthy Eating + Active Living coalition (HI HEAL) joined LavaKids, West Hawai’i Community Health Center, Club Rehab, Island Heart Care, Hawai’i County Parks & Recreation Senior Programs, and BioAstin to provide this FREE family fun walk and run event. Hawai‘i Primary Care Association was also present with their Feel Good Campaign. Throughout the event, participating partners provided physical activity and diabetes resources for people who want to be active and help reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes.

Later in the day, Under the Bodhi Tree sponsored a well-attended healthy eating food demonstration, hosted by HI HEAL and West Hawaii Community Health Center. Chef Stephen Rouelle, owner of Under the Bodhi Tree, shared his personal story with diabetes while discussing the attributes of a plant-based diet and preparing a Mediterranean White Bean Roasted Red Pepper Salad with Quinoa for participants to taste. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “Studies on diabetes show that a vegetarian diet high in complex carbohydrates and fiber (which are found only in plant foods) and low in fat is the best dietary prescription for controlling and preventing diabetes.”

In Hawai‘i, it is estimated that one in every two adults has prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, with many not knowing their status. Participants of the event were encouraged to take the Diabetes Risk Test provided by Hawaii Department of Health and share the results with their health care provider. And to get involved with a Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Change program now offered by the West Hawai‘i Community Health Center.

Not sure of your status. Find out at PreventDiabetesHawaii.com.