Updated 06/29/2011 06:05 AM
New study shows diabetes numbers have doubled since 1980
While a new study shows the number of diabetes cases worldwide doubling in the past 30 years, health advocates here in the Capital Region say part of the problem can be found in low income neighborhoods, where access to fresh produce is minimal. Our Brandon Walker spent time in a community garden where folks are fighting to change that.
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ALBANY, N.Y.-- Stephen Winters prunes and plants his own veggies in this community garden in South End.
"[Gardening] gives you sense of community because you're gardening with fellow gardeners," he said.
The garden, one of 47 co-ops, run by Capital District Community Gardens. A group working to decrease rates of Diabetes and other diseases linked to obesity.
"If we can get greater access to fresh food in our urban spaces than we're going to deal better with those issues on the front end," said Amy Klein, executive director of the organization.
Those issues, according to a new study conducted by professors at the Harvard School of Public Heath and Imperial College London, are a significant part of the reason why the number of adults suffering from diabetes has more than doubled in the past 30 years.
"I think we all need to be educated and understand the effect diabetes has on our community and us as individuals," said Denice Nicastro of the American Diabetes Association.
The study concludes nearly 350 million adults worldwide have diabetes due to aging populations and rising obesity rates. Those numbers sharply on the rise in the U-S and here in the capital region.
"Part of the reason for that is it cost more money to eat healthy," Nicastro said.
That's a slippery slope say health experts. Neighborhoods like South End fall under what's called a food desert category, which means access to fresh produce is sparse and expensive and cases of diabetes are just as high. Local organizations are working to drive down that cost.
"People can eat healthier through a community garden through our veggie mobile and our healthy convenience initiative than they're less likely to be hit with diabetes," Klein said.
A global epidemic being fought locally.