Lindiwe Sibeko, extension assistant professor in the department of nutrition, was an invited panelist at a forum on “Diabetes in the 21st Century” held Oct. 26 in Springfield.
Sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Black Nurses’ Association, the event brought together nurses from the association and community members, many of whom either faced diabetes directly or came in support of family members with diabetes.
Sibeko joined keynote speaker Dr. Yekatherine Rasmussen and nurse Yolanda DaCosta-Nwosu from the Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center on the panel. She addressed the challenges of following national dietary recommendations for people living with diabetes within a multicultural and multiethnic context, where food may have a very different meaning than the context in which recommendations are developed and translated.
In the question-and-answer session that followed, the panelists emphasized the impact that lifestyle behavior changes, primarily diet and exercise, can have on diabetes-related outcomes, and noted that even incremental steps can provide significant health benefits. Attendees also learned about resources available to the community.