Diabetes Free SC, Allies Tackle the Diabetes Epidemic

Feb. 22, 2024

Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in South Carolina. Did you know that 1 in 7 adults in the state have been diagnosed with diabetes? Prediabetes affects 1 in 3 adults. Most are not aware they have the condition. The need for change is clear.

Many South Carolinians are at a critical point regarding their health. Whether they are living with diabetes or at risk for developing the disease, intervention is necessary.

The question of how to prevent diabetes does not have a simple answer. There is good news, though. Progression of the disease can be stopped.

  • Prediabetes is reversible in many cases. Lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise, have been shown to help.
  • Many South Carolinians at risk for diabetes need support to get started with living a healthy lifestyle. Access to nutrition education and quality care is needed.
  • More than 100,000 children in South Carolina live with food insecurity. This increases the risk of diabetes. There is a need for early intervention to reduce diabetes risk in children.

Sowing Seeds of Change

To meet the needs of South Carolinians living with diabetes and those who are at risk, Diabetes Free SC (DFSC) is focusing on three strategic directions:

  1. Improvement of women's health and pregnancy outcomes
  2. Reduction of lifelong risk of diabetes in children
  3. Prevention of diabetes and its complications in adults

With funding from the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation and the help of partner organizations, DFSC is currently working on an array of initiatives that include the following:

  1. Women's Health Initiative
  2. MOMs Diabetes Program
  3. Head Start Nutrition Education and Produce Access
  4. School Wellness
  5. Kids in Parks
  6. FoodShare SC
  7. Produce Prescription
  8. Food is Medicine South Carolina
  9. South Carolina Surgical Quality Collaborative (SCSQC) Diabetes Initiative
  10. Community Health Workers (CHWs)

You can learn more about these initiatives in more detail in our 2023 Impact Report*.

The Harvest

2023 was a year of progress and wins for DFSC initiatives. 

  • Over 977 women participated in the Women's Health Initiative*.
  • Around 200 schools worked towards creating healthier environments as a part of School Wellness initiatives*.
  • Kids in Parks* expanded their TRACK Trail network and began its TRACK Rx program in collaboration with clinical partners.
  • Food is Medicine South Carolina* worked to understand the current landscape and future needs of Food is Medicine work in SC.

As we look to the future, there is much hope for the Palmetto State. The mission of DFSC is to engage South Carolinians to lead healthier lives. The vision of DFSC is to win the fight against diabetes. Through continued efforts and community-minded partnerships, we can achieve this.

To learn more about DFSC, its partners and how you can help lower diabetes risk, visit Diabetes Free SC*.

Sowing Seeds of Change, the DFSC 2023 Impact Report* has more information on how DFSC is advancing its mission in South Carolina.

*These links lead to a third-party website. DFSC is responsible for the content and privacy policy on its site.

The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. 

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