ISA supports families in achieving a healthy life for persons with diabetes

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It’s a family thing!’ – ISA’s online activities on World Diabetes Day to promote the role that family can have in diabetes prevention, management and care

Brussels, 14 November 2018: The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) proudly supports World Diabetes Day (WDD) on 14th November for a seventh consecutive year with an online campaign themed ‘It’s a family thing!’. With over 425 million adults dealing with diabetes all over the world, it becomes a priority to join the actions of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in their aim to raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on families with members with diabetes.

With the focus of the World Diabetes Day 20181 being, indeed, ‘The Family and Diabetes’’, the ISA has developed an online activity programme to promote the role that family can have in every step of diabetes life, from prevention to detection and management, knowing that diabetes care starts from home.

The ISA targeted online materials were developed with the scientific support of the European Specialist Dietetic Network for Diabetes (ESDN) of the European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians (EFAD), with the aim of raising awareness about the part that each one in the family ‘team’ can play in supporting family members with diabetes and in achieving a healthier lifestyle. This aid is given not only through reciprocal support in daily treatment, monitoring or education, but also through fun and shared healthy activities, including a balanced diet.

Family has a key role in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes and in the management of all diabetes types”, Mr Haris Dimosthenopoulos, MMedSci, PhDc, Dietitian – Nutritionist and head of the EFAD’s ESDN for Diabetes states. “With family’s support, a person’s efforts to initiate and maintain positive changes in diet and physical activity while dealing with diabetes can be fruitful. Besides, a healthy family diet can be the ideal diet for diabetes and the ‘diet for diabetes’ could simply be the diet for all the family members”.

It’s a family thing‘, so do it for you and for your family

With the overarching theme It’s a family thing!, the ISA online activities for World Diabetes Day 2018 includes an appealing infographic and an interesting animated video aiming to create a sense of empowerment in families affected by diabetes, because when it comes to diabetes prevention, management and care, family can be an ally in the pursuit of a healthy future.

There is not a specific ‘diabetes diet’!”, Mr Dimosthenopoulos clarifies. A healthy lifestyle, essential part of diabetes care, includes a physically active life and a healthy family diet adjusted to individual needs. In this regard, a “sweet” help can come from low calorie sweetenersoffering wider “sweet food” choices and the pleasure of sweet taste with fewer or no calories. Low calorie sweeteners, by themselves, have no impact on insulin and blood sugar levels, and thus they can be a useful option to aid in glucose control, when used in place of sugar2,3.

Low calorie sweetened foods and drinks can be used by people with diabetes to help curb cravings for something sweet without risking a spike in blood glucose levels, provided that other ingredients of the food/ drink don’t influence blood glucose either. Using low calorie sweeteners in place of sugars can also help reduce overall calorie intake and be a helpful tool in nutritional strategies for weight management, which is especially important for people with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes who need to lose weight or prevent additional excess weight gain4.

Find out all the small steps that could empower and encourage families dealing with diabetes in the ISA animated video and the ISA infographic made available for the World Diabetes Day 2018 in seven languages. And remember: family is key for a healthier life!

More information on the ISA online activity programme for World Diabetes Day 2018 is available here. Don’t forget to follow @SweetenersAndU on Twitter, our Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and to subscribe to the ISA YouTube channel, and get involved in the conversation by using and following hashtags #ISAforWDD and #WDD2018.

  1. World Diabetes Day 2018. Available online here:
  2. Timpe Behnen EM., et al. Do sugar substitutes have any impact on glycemic control in patients with diabetes? J Pharm Technol. 2013;29:61–5
  3. Nichol AD, Holle MJ, An R. Glycemic impact of non-nutritive sweeteners: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr 2018; 72: 796-804
  4. Dyson PA, Twenefour D, Breen C, et al. Diabetes UK Position Statements. Diabetes UK evidence-based nutrition guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes. Diabet Med. 2018; 35: 541-547