The Link Between Nutrition Insecurity and Diabetes
Sept. 29, 2022
Healthy eating is vital to prevent and manage diabetes. Limited access to affordable, healthy foods can increase the likelihood of poor health outcomes from the disease.
People across South Carolina experience limited access to healthy, affordable foods. According to Feeding America’s 2022 Map the Meal Gap* report:
- 9.6 percent of South Carolinians are experiencing food insecurity, with county-level data ranging from 7.4 percent in Beaufort to 17.5 percent in Marlboro.
- 13.8 percent of South Carolina children are experiencing food insecurity, with numbers ranging from 7.9 percent in Pickens to 34.1 percent in Allendale.
- 19 percent of Black South Carolinians and 14 percent of Latino South Carolinians experience food insecurity, indicating significant racial inequalities in the state.
Adults who can’t get healthy foods are up to three times more likely to have diabetes than those who can.
“Food insecurity puts a strain on individuals living with diabetes,” says Diabetes Free SC (DFSC) Program Director Noreen O’Donnell. “This burden can limit their ability to practice self-management and to afford necessary medications and health care.”
DFSC is proud to partner with organizations across the state to address nutrition insecurity, including:
- Supporting the expansion of FoodShare SC’s statewide network of hubs.
- Collaborating to grow the number of produce prescription programs in the state.
- Identifying needs, barriers and opportunities to advance relationships between food systems and health care organizations as part of the Food Is Medicine SC committee.
“A healthy diet is foundational for the prevention and management of diabetes and its complications,” says O’Donnell. “With more than 1.9 million adults in the state with diabetes or prediabetes and so many South Carolinians experiencing food insecurity, scaling opportunities for access to healthy food statewide is critical.”
Diabetes Free SC (DFSC) is supporting two complementary organizations that focus on school-based wellness: the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness. Both organizations work with schools and school districts across our state to ensure our schools are the healthiest places they can be — for students, staff, families and communities. In the back-to-school spirit, DFSC offers some of its favorite tips to make sure your family stays healthy during this busy time of year.Read More
Diabetes Free SC (DFSC) launched Management of Maternal (MOMs) programs in 2020. These efforts are part of a long-term commitment to improve the health of all South Carolinians. The MOMs programs accomplish this by improving pregnancy outcomes for women with diabetes.Read More
The prevalence of diabetes is higher in Black South Carolinians than it is in white South Carolinians. More than 16 percent of Black residents are affected by the disease compared to about 11 percent of white residents. Not only is diabetes more prevalent in Black communities in South Carolina, it is also more deadly. Information from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) shows the death rate among Black residents with diabetes is twice as high as it is among white residents with diabetes.Read More