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COVID limited physical activity; nutrition for Arkansans with diabetes UAMS study finds

KATV Little Rock/Pine Bluff logo KATV Little Rock/Pine Bluff 9/22/2022 Cory Evans
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A study led by researchers at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Office of Community Health & Research shows  COVID-19 changed how Arkansans with diabetes manage their illness, especially during the height of the pandemic when stay-at-home orders were intensified. 

The study found that one in five Arkansans with diabetes consumed fewer healthy foods and nearly one in three Arkansans with diabetes reported a reduction in their physical activities as a direct result of the pandemic.

“The results of the study support the need for health care providers to reinforce the importance of physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet for people with diabetes, especially during a public health emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jennifer Andersen, an assistant professor in the UAMS Office of Community Health & Research and a lead researcher on the study. “Additionally, women with diabetes may need extra support to maintain their health as many have taken on more responsibilities at home and have not returned to the workforce or other activities since the pandemic started.”

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, according to a news release.

In Arkansas, about one in nine adults is diagnosed with the condition. 

Although diabetes is unique to every person, it can be managed by eating a healthy diet and developing an exercise routine, according to the American Diabetes Association.

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