Meijer Inc. launched a new diabetes-focused webpage this week following a recent survey that reveals nearly 50 percent of diabetics feel overwhelmed in trying to manage the disease.
The website — meijer.com/diabetes — provides numerous resources, including a risk assessment test and information on nutrition, exercise, and medication management. In addition, users with diabetes can create personal care plans.
“The biggest challenge these people face is becoming overwhelmed,” says Teresa Willard, a clinical services pharmacist for Meijer’s eastern region. “You can get yourself into a deep, dark hole that’s hard to crawl out of. This (online resource) gets people started with those first small steps that will get them moving toward better health.”
Willard says when practiced consistency, such steps as eating well and taking medication can prevent long-term complications.
Meijer’s survey — which polled those with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, as well as those at risk for developing Type 2 — found that nearly 90 percent of respondents could not fully identify the complications that could result from not managing the disease, which include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, and kidney disease.
In an effort to teach people about the complications, the website features basic information about various risks and improved outcomes. “Diabetes is the No. 1 cause for amputation and blindness in the United States. These things are preventable. So it’s important for a person (with diabetes) to understand these risks,” Willard says.
Of those surveyed, nearly half said they struggle with nutrition and diet. In response, the website highlights proper food portions for the average person with diabetes. The resource also describes NuVal nutritional scores, which can be found on shelf tags throughout Meijer stores. (Scores run on a 1 to 100 scale — the higher the score, the healthier the food).
On Saturday, Meijer will host a Diabetes Healthy Living Event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at each of its more than 200 stores, including free blood glucose testing, risk assessments, and educational materials.