CHICAGO (Oct, 2013) – The number of those with diabetes and prediabetes continues to rise every year. And according to the 2012 Vision Problems in the U.S. report from Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Institute, more than 7.6 million people ages 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy. The longer someone has diabetes, the more they are at-risk for vision loss from diabetic eye disease and related eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataract.
Fortunately, for some, simple lifestyle changes can help delay or even prevent developing diabetes and its effects in the future. Maintaining a healthy diet is one of those steps.
As part of Prevent Blindness America’s “Live Right, Save Sight!” program, in conjunction with declaring November as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, the national non-profit group is conducting an online contest seeking recipes that benefit those with diabetes and include ingredients that are also healthy for the eyes. The contest will run from Nov. 1-30, 2013. Those interested in participating may visit preventblindness.org/diabetes to enter.
All entries should include:
· Recipe name
· List of ingredients with measurements (must include at least two eye healthy ingredients and adhere to diabetes-friendly guidelines)
· Description of how it is prepared
· Explanation about why the recipe entry is healthy for diabetes patients and those with prediabetes
· Full name
· Phone number
· Email address
Winners will be chosen at random from all entrants that comply with the contest rules. First prize will be awarded a $200 Amazon.com gift card, second prize will be awarded a $100 Amazon.com gift card and third prize will receive a $50 Amazon.com gift card. The winning recipes will also be published on the Live Right, Save Sight! program section of the Prevent Blindness America website.
“We know that diabetes and vision loss is a serious issue that continues to negatively affect millions of Americans,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America. “It is our hope that through the ‘Eat for Your Eyes’ contest, we can encourage people to think about steps they can take today, even through diet modification, that can help save vision in the future.”
As part of the Live Right, Save Sight! program, Prevent Blindness America offers the following recommendations:
- Visit an eye doctor at least once a year if you have diabetes or if you are at high risk. For some, diabetic retinopathy is one of the first signs of diabetes.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, even a modest weight loss can help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
- Increase your physical activity. Exercising 30 minutes a day, five times a week can cut your risk of Type 2 diabetes by more than half. It is important to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Watch and control your blood sugar levels.
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the risk of eye disease, as well as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. It may be necessary to change diet and exercise habits or take medication to keep blood pressure under control.
- If you smoke – quit. Quitting smoking can significantly reduce the risk for diabetic retinopathy as well as provide other health benefits.
- All women who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant and have been diagnosed with diabetes should get a full, dilated eye exam.
For more information on the Eat for Your Eyes contest, including a complete copy of the contest rules and eligibility requirements, as well as information on diabetic eye disease, please call Prevent Blindness America at (800) 331-2020 or visit preventblindness.org/diabetes.
About Prevent Blindness America
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness America is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness America touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates and regional offices, Prevent Blindness America is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at preventblindness.org or facebook.com/preventblindness.