Diabetes Conference Screens, Educates

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- With diabetes the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, it's no surprise that nearly 7% of the population suffers from the disease.

Arkansas ranks fifth among the 50 states in the incidence of diabetes...and it's something the state is trying to change.

"It's something that we've found that is very prevalent in the community and that a lot of people are interested in," said event chairman Sondra Teague.

In the U.S., 20.8 million people suffer from diabetes, with more than 176,000 under the age of 20.  But education could change those numbers.

Saturday, a diabetes conference in Jonesboro screened for glucose, glaucoma, foot problems, BMI and blood pressure.  Educational breakout sessions also helped teach about diabetes and heart disease and insulin pumps and oral medication.  And organizers hope a little star power goes a long way too.

"We're bringing in Dr. Michael Dansinger as a speaker at the luncheon and he is going to speak on beating diabetes and obesity, mission impossible. He is the prime consultant for the NBC primetime television show, "The Biggest Loser" and he is a consultant for weight loss and nutrition for that show," said Teague.

Saturday's conference was sponsored by the Clopton Clinic Foundation and St. Beranrds Medical Center.