According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is one of the fastest growing healthcare problems in the U.S. Nearly 26 million people in the U.S. (8.3 percent of the population) have diabetes, and 90 to 95 percent of these cases are type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that one in three Americans born in 2000 will develop diabetes sometime during their lifetime.
Fortunately, people can help by making healthy lifestyle choices, including eating healthfully and exercising. That's why Merck is committed to helping patients by providing patient education programs like Diabetes Restaurant Month.
More than one-third of Americans' daily calorie intake comes from food eaten outside the home, including sit-down restaurants and fast-food establishments which can make identifying healthy meal options a challenge.
Basketball legend Earl "The Pearl" Monroe is teaming up with Merck on the Diabetes Restaurant Month program, to challenge restaurants across the country to create diabetes-friendly menu items which are also heart healthy. Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1998, Earl has learned how to maintain a diabetes-friendly lifestyle and reduce his risk of serious complications, like heart disease, through a healthy diet and regular exercise, and he aims to inspire others to do the same by making a few small changes every day, including making smart choices while dining out.
People across the U.S. can visit participating restaurants to sample delicious diabetes-friendly dishes during their city's Diabetes Restaurant Month. To date, restaurants in more than 18 cities have participated in Diabetes Restaurant Month, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Diego, Washington, D.C., and West Palm Beach.
The program recently made a stop in Philadelphia during the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) 72nd Scientific Sessions. Earl kicked off the city's Diabetes Restaurant Month by sampling a diabetes-friendly dish with a lucky fan at a local restaurant and launched the program's first-ever diabetes-friendly food truck. The truck served two diabetes-friendly dishes, Spinach Artichoke Frittata and Tandoori Chicken Sandwich, to thousands of ADA attendees.
Visit MerckDiabetes.com to find a list of participating restaurants, as well as more than 100 diabetes-friendly recipes, tools for managing diabetes, and information about the basics of diabetes management, including blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol control. The site also provides links to Merck's educational social media platform The Diabetes Dish on YouTube, for videos and tips.