Health Net Joins Effort to Educate Public about Rising Diabetes Rates

November is American Diabetes Month - Learn more about this increasingly prevalent disease and paths toward prevention


LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- With November being American Diabetes Month, Health Net, Inc. (NYS: HNT) is providing the public with information on how to help prevent diabetes and how to help live an active lifestyle after being diagnosed with the condition.

American Diabetes Month, promoted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), raises awareness of the increasing incidence of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In fact, ADA statistics show that nearly 26 million American children and adults have diabetes, while another 79 million have pre-diabetes and consequently are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

"Unlike type 1, steps can be taken to reduce the risks of developing type 2 diabetes," said Jonathan Scheff, M.D., chief medical officer for Health Net. "Prevention is significant because diabetes can cause serious medical issues, including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, amputation and nerve damage."

Type 1 vs. Type 2

According to the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), type 1 - which is the more rare form of diabetes - occurs when the body produces little or no insulin, requiring daily injections of insulin. The NDEP notes that those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but their bodies don't properly use the insulin that's produced. People with type 2 - which is the most common form of diabetes - often need to take pills or insulin.

The ADA advises that a physician should be consulted if any of the following symptoms of diabetes are noticed:

  • Frequent urination;
  • Increased thirst or hunger;
  • Unusual weight loss;
  • Blurry vision from time to time;
  • Fatigue; or
  • Tingling skin.

Prevention is Proven

The NDEP points out that techniques such as losing weight and increasing physical activity can help those with pre-diabetes prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

Recognizing the importance of prevention, Health Net created the Fit Families for Life - Be in Charge! Weight Control Program. Available to Health Net members, as well as to the public free of charge, Fit Families for Life is a multi-week program. It focuses on numerous nutrition and physical-activity topics that employ innovative approaches to childhood and family weight management issues. In addition, Health Net members with high Body Mass Index levels also are eligible for a personalized, telephone-based coaching program.

To lower the risk of developing diabetes and better manage the condition for those who've been diagnosed, the ADA recommends the following:

  • Eat a healthy diet - Choose foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and fibers, as well as those that are low in fat, salt and sugar. A balanced daily diet should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry and fish.
  • Exercise regularly - Engage in physical activity for 30 minutes per day, five days a week. Suggested activities include walking, dancing, swimming, gardening, aerobics and cycling.

"A positive aspect of diabetes is that it can be controlled," said Scheff. "And the complications associated with diabetes can be delayed or even prevented with good self-management skills, such as eating sensibly and exercising regularly. These aren't difficult steps to take, and they can make a tremendous difference in your health."

Free Diabetes Education Events

In support of American Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, Health Net's Community Solution Centers - which hold Fit Families for Life classes and serve as a health-information and education resource - are inviting the public to attend any of the following free scheduled events:

Health Net, in collaboration with Vision y Compromiso Regional Promotores Committee
A Promotores Diabetes Forum - "Conozca Sus Numeros"
Nov. 7, 2012
8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Ceres Community Center
2701 Fourth St.
Ceres, CA 95307
(209) 541-0101

Health Net Community Solutions Center - East Los Angeles
Diabetes Discussion for Seniors
Nov. 13, 2012
11 a.m. to noon
5047 E. Whittier Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90022
(323) 266-7770

All Health Net Community Solutions Centers
World Diabetes Day
Nov. 14, 2012

In recognition of World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, all Health Net Community Centers will host resource tables with English and Spanish educational information on diabetes prevention and management. Visitors also can assess their risk for developing diabetes by completing a short ADA risk test given at the resource tables.

Health Net Community Solution Centers locations:

Los Angeles
5047 E. Whittier Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90022
(323) 266-7770

Fresno
1315 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 103
Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 444-8700

Modesto
1940 Crows Landing Road, Suite 10
Modesto, CA 95358
(209) 556-1400

For more diabetes-related information, visit:

Medical Advice Disclaimer

The information provided is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for professional medical care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other health provider for any questions you may have regarding your medical condition and follow your health care provider's instructions.

About Health Net

Health Net, Inc. is a publicly traded managed care organization that delivers managed health care services through health plans and government-sponsored managed care plans. Its mission is to help people be healthy, secure and comfortable. Health Net, through its subsidiaries, provides and administers health benefits to approximately 5.5 million individuals across the country through group, individual, Medicare (including the Medicare prescription drug benefit commonly referred to as "Part D"), Medicaid, U.S. Department of Defense, including TRICARE, and Veterans Affairs programs. Health Net's behavioral health services subsidiary, Managed Health Network, Inc., provides behavioral health, substance abuse and employee assistance programs to approximately 4.8 million individuals, including Health Net's own health plan members. Health Net's subsidiaries also offer managed health care products related to prescription drugs, and offer managed health care product coordination for multi-region employers and administrative services for medical groups and self-funded benefits programs.

For more information on Health Net, Inc., please visit Health Net's website at www.healthnet.com.

This release contains links to other sites that are not owned or controlled by Health Net. Please be aware that Health Net is not responsible for the contents linked or referred to from this release. Links to other websites are provided for the user's convenience. Health Net does not express an opinion on the content or the properties of such linked websites and disclaims any liability in connection therewith.



Health Net, Inc.
Lori Rieger, (602) 794-1415
lori.rieger@healthnet.com
www.twitter.com/hnlori

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California

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