Tamara Schubert, family consumer science educator for New Mexico State University in Chaves County, welcomes students attending the free diabetes cooking class at the Chaves County Extension Services office on Oct. 17.

Tamara Schubert, family consumer science educator for New Mexico State University in Chaves County, welcomes students attending the free diabetes cooking class at the Chaves County Extension Services office on Oct. 17.
Every spring and fall the Chaves County Cooperative Extension Office is opening its door for a free diabetes cooking class as part of New Mexico State University’s (NMSU) Kitchen Creations program.
It’s a hands-on, four-part class that includes cooking, a free manual and cookbooks. This fall class kicked off on Oct. 17 and is taught by Tamara Schubert, family consumer science educator for NMSU in Chaves County Cooperative Extension, and Susan Dade, a registered and licensed dietitian nutritionist, and diabetes care and education specialist.
“This year, I have a couple of virtual classes as well for those who don’t get out yet or those around the state that don’t have a family consumer science educator in office,” Schubert said. “There are some counties (in New Mexico) that don’t have one, so it allows those participants to get on and learn the information.”
Schubert said the next virtual class begins Thursday and continues three weeks into November.
“We also do a Prevent T2D (diabetes type 2) series, which is a yearlong class for those that may be diabetic or are diagnosed with T2. They go through weight management and food selection to hopefully prevent the diagnoses of diabetes,” she said.
According to the Johns Hopkins Patient Guide to Diabetes, T1D is an early onset diabetes that may be caused by a genetic immune system disorder where the individual’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the pancreas, which then can no longer produce insulin, a hormone needed for controlling blood glucose.
T2D is usually diagnosed in children and adults who are overweight or obese. Individuals who have T2D have a chance to avoid the ultimate result of this kind of diabetes — the pancreas stops producing insulin in the final stage — by eating healthier, loosing weight and changing to an active life-style.
Asked about the T1D and T2D cases in New Mexico, Schubert said that, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) published report for 2021, 200,548 adult people in New Mexico have been formally diagnosed, which is 12.3% of the population.
There is a growing concern among specialists such as Schubert that, because of the pandemic, many who were borderline insulin resistant — the first stage of becoming a diabetic — may now be diabetic without knowing it, because they could not get their regular physical check ups from their physician.
She said that ADA estimates additional 53,000 people being undiagnosed and about 36% have pre-diabetes leading to diabetes.
The national health community is aware of this and followed the numbers closely when the pandemic first hit. These first results are now being publicized and are concerning because the biggest spike is seen in children. In the Journal of the Endocrine Society, Vol. 6, Issue 4, April 2022, on the Oxford University Press platform online, it reads, “During the pandemic, incident cases of pediatric T1D increased from 31 in each of the prior 2 years to 46; an increase of 48%. Incident cases of pediatric T2D increased by 231% from 2019 to 2020. … This clearly suggests a disruption and change in the pediatric diabetes trends with profound individual and community health consequences.”
According to a large study headed by Sadiva S. Khan, Department of Preventive Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, there is an alarming rise in diabetes during pregnancy — gestational diabetes — across race and ethnicity subgroups in the U.S. In the June 22, 2021 publication on JAMA Network Open, a monthly open access medical journal published by the American Medical Association, it reads, “… Among the 12,610,235 included individuals (of the study), the overall age-standardized gestational diabetes rate significantly increased from 47.6 to 63.5 per 1,000 live births from 2011 to 2019. …”
The U.S. is not the only country with this rise in diabetes cases. On Oct. 19, the World Health Organization highlighted the high cost of physical inactivity in a first global report. “Almost 500 million people will develop heart disease, obesity, diabetes or other noncommunicable diseases attributable to physical inactivity, between 2020 and 2030, costing US$ 27 billion annually, if governments don’t take urgent action to encourage more physical activity among their populations. …”
For more information about the upcoming diabetes cooking classes, contact the Chaves County Cooperative Extension Service at 575-622-3210.
Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.
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