Conference aims to increase diabetes awareness

Posted at 4:52 PM, Nov 14, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-14 21:59:43-05

SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Dept. of Health says 177,000 Utahns have diabetes and another 47,000 suffer without knowing they have the disease. Now researchers and health workers are working to educate Utahns about the diabetes pandemic.

The Mali-Alole Drummers and Polynesian dancers performed at the World Diabetes Day Conference on Wednesday to help bring awareness to the rapidly growing disease, which is particularly widespread among Pacific Islanders.

According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, one on three children born today will develop diabetes, but there are ways to reduce the risk.

"World Diabetes Day is in November which is Diabetes Awareness Month, so for us just raising awareness about what diabetes is and how to prevent it through healthier nutrition and more exercise is the best possibility and the best outcome we're looking for," said Tesch West, a volunteer for the American Diabetes Association.

Letting diabetes go untreated can cause serious problems like kidney failure, damage to the nervous system or blindness.

Bill England, who owns England Trucking headquartered in Salt Lake, says attitude is everything.

"Just make the best of it, and I think that has helped me live with this disease," England said.

For more about detecting and living with diabetes, visit