Words on Wellness

Guest column
Kelsey Salow
Human Sciences Specialist ISU Extension & Outreach

Busted: SNAP Myths

   Having access to safe and nutritious foods is important in all stages of life. About 250,000 Iowans do not have enough money to buy food! The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest hunger prevention program in the United States. Misconceptions are preventing older adults from using SNAP benefits.

   • "If I use SNAP, I'm taking it away from someone in greater need." All who are eligible and enroll in the program will receive assistance.

   • "I won't be able to use SNAP where I live." SNAP is accepted in many places, including grocery stores, convenience stores, Shawn's, farmers markets, and Meals on Wheels. Look for an EBT sign to determine if a vendor accepts SNAP.

   • "Applying is hard." There is help available during the application process. To see if you, a friend, or a family member qualifies for SNAP, call 1-555-944-3663 or visit dhs.iowa.gov/food-assistance/eligibility.

November is National Diabetes Month

   Diabetes and prediabetes affect many Americans. Diabetes is when blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high in the body. There are many factors that lead to diabetes such as genetics, body composition, and lifestyle.

   Prediabetes is when blood glucose is higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes. Lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet (i.e., produce, lean meats, whole grains, low fat dairy) and being physically active can help prevent prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes.

   There are three main types of diabetes:

   • Type 1 is when the body does not make enough insulin (hormone that helps glucose get into the cells). Insulin therapy is used since the body is not producing it.

   • Type 2 is when the body does not use insulin properly. Some people can control type 2 with healthy eating and exercise alone, others need medicine or insulin.

   • Gestational Diabetes occurs during pregnancy. Treatment varies from healthy eating and exercise to medications or insulin.

   Diabetes can be managed through diet, exercise, and/or medication. People with diabetes should work with their diabetes care team to improve overall quality of life.


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