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SALT LAKE CITY — Diabetes plagued nearly 26 million people in the U.S. in 2012, including many people in Utah. Specialists gave several tips on how to reduce the risk of getting diabetes.
In 2013, the average number for kids with diabetes is one in every 400. The American Diabetes Associated reported that two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease. Diabetes is also the leading cause of blindness among adults.
Chris Carey, 18, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 8 years old. Technology helped him to live with the medical problem.
"I have an insulin pump and it gives me insulin all the time, and when I eat things I have to tell it to give me extra," Carey said.
However, for many people, the adjustment to the lifetime medical problem is a much harder transition.
"(Diabetes) often occurs later in life, though with the rise of ... obesity, we are seeing younger and younger children develop Type 2 diabetes," said dietician Theresa Dvorak.
- Give up soda pop and other carbonated drinks
- Give up chips and other fatty junky foods
- Eat healthier — More fruits and vegetables
In Carey's case of diabetes, doctors have said there is nothing he could have done to prevent the medical problem.
"Type 1 diabetes is not predictable," said Dr. Mary Murray with Primary Children's Medical Center. "It's not preventable right now. It's not associated to the way you live, the way you eat. It just happens to people."
However, doctors tell individuals on the brink of diagnosis for Type 2 diabetes that there are a handful of things to prevent the health problem.
"To give up your soda pop, to give up your chips, to start eating healthier, those are big changes to undertake," Murray said.
The American Diabetes Association said that people must start taking the steps to better health. The Association projects that by 2050, one in three adults will have diabetes unless rigorous changes are taken to stop it.
Diabetes Day is recognized on Friday. Tune in to KSLTV beginning at 5 a.m. for more advice on how to prevent diabetes and to hear inspiring stories from Utahns coping with diabetes.