Highland News Leader

Diabetes Awareness Month: St. Joseph’s Hospital to show the film ‘Fed Up’

HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland invites local residents to a free showing of the food industry documentary Fed Up on Friday, Nov. 6 in the hospital’s Ungacta Conference Room beginning at 6:30 p.m. Space is limited, so seating is a on a first-come, first-served basis.

Fed Up is a 2014 American documentary film that focuses on the causes of obesity in the United States, presenting evidence showing that the large quantities of sugar in processed foods are an overlooked root of the problem, and points to advocacy and legislative activities to enact policies to address the issue.

Fed Up asserts how the first dietary guidelines issued by the U.S. government 30 years ago overlooked the role of dietary sugar in increasing risks of obesity, diabetes, and associated ill-health outcomes, particularly in children. According to the film, since these guidelines effectively condoned unlimited addition of sugar to foods consumed by children, sugar consumption has greatly increased, obesity has skyrocketed, and generations of children have grown up far fatter than their parents. The documentary continues on to say that these children face impaired health and shorter lifespans as a result.

November is American Diabetes Month, a time to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention and control. St. Joseph’s Hospital (Highland) is using the month of November as an opportunity to raise awareness of the disease and its serious complications.

Nearly 30 million children and adults in American — or about 9 percent of the U.S. population — have diabetes, and it is estimated that one in every four people with diabetes does not even know they have the disease. Another 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes.

While, naturally, there’s a physical cost to living with diabetes, The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national financial cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.

St. Joseph’s Hospital’s decision to offer a free public screening of the Fed Up documentary as part of its Diabetes Awareness Month activities is directly related to an identified community health need discovered through the hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) completed in June 2015.

The St. Joseph’s Hospital Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is an outcome of the Affordable Care Act, which requires tax-exempt, non-profit hospitals to complete a CHNA every three years and to implement strategies to address the needs identified in the report.

“Not only is conducting a CHNA consistent with federal law and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) policy,” said Peggy Sebastian, president and CEO of SJH, “but more importantly, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS), view conducting a CHNA as part of our Mission Integration Accountability policy aligned with our Franciscan heritage of addressing the needs of local communities and involving them in the process.”

More information on Diabetes Awareness Month activities at St. Joseph’s Hospital can be obtained by calling (618) 651-2590.

Diabetes linked to many other health issues

If left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health problems, for example:

▪ People with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized with a heart attack as people without diabetes

▪ People with diabetes are nearly two times more likely to die from heart disease or stroke than a person without diabetes.

▪ Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure

▪ Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults

▪ The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.

▪ About 60-70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that could result in pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction and other nerve problems