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Be Part of Molokai’s Nutrition Revolution

Community Contributed

By Megan Stephenson

Sitting down to a meal at home, with your `ohana, is such an important part of the day. Everyone shares their latest news, cracks jokes, nags about getting chores done, and tucks in to the ono food. Bonds strengthen while the body simultaneously refills on more energy. When done eating, do you ever feel sluggish or sleepy? This may seem like a natural course of the day, but its actually a sign to get moving again. Walking or activity after eating a big meal, especially one full of carbohydrates like pasta and rice, helps break down the food you just ate, which has transformed into different types of energy — sugar or fat — that your body runs on.

Straightforward steps like this are especially important to those with type 2 diabetes, and I am working on a project to reach out to those with diabetes. For people with type 2 diabetes, maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise can help keep glucose levels low, as well as benefit cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and a healthy weight. It can also save on future healthcare costs!

Some of you may remember me as a former Molokai Dispatch staff member, a great time in my life which led me to this beautiful island. I am now a graduate student at Western Washington University where I am studying anthropology. What I want to do is use the intersection between culture and health to educate and inform us all on how we can live healthier in an increasingly processed world.

I am looking for people with diagnosed type 2 diabetes to be a part of my project study. I created an educational video, filmed here on Molokai with professionals on the island, about nutrition in everyday terms, the importance of physical exercise, and the many ways you can embrace healthy lifestyle activities.

What I need is participants — anyone over age 18 diagnosed with type 2 diabetes — to watch the video and fill out surveys. All participants will be anonymous, and as thanks for participating, you will get a Molokai Drugs gift certificate and be entered to win a raffled prize, a NutriBullet (or similar) personal blender system!

I hope to hear from interested, qualified people by July 10. Please contact me at (309) 230-2855 and mkstephenson@gmail.com. My research partner is the Molokai Community Health Center (MCHC), so you may also contact Dr. Christina Economos at (808) 553-5038. The surveys will either be mailed or emailed to you, depending on your preference, and the video can be watched at home or in a group at MCHC, in mid-July.

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