Program Gives People With Diabetes Access to Free Nutrition Counseling
Diabetes is on the rise, and while there is no cure, experts agree that a healthy diet plays a critical role in diabetes management. Today, Buffalo-based EatwiseRx announced that it has launched a new service that makes free nutrition counseling services convenient and accessible for individuals with diabetes. Now, for the first time, individuals with diabetes in Western New York are able to receive free, personalized nutrition counseling in their homes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, nutrition counseling is a critical component in controlling diabetes and postponing or preventing diabetes-related complications. The benefits of nutrition counseling are so significant that Medicare and most insurance plans have waived all patient responsibility (no copay/no deductibles), covering 100% of the cost of nutrition counseling for diabetes. However, according to 2010 Medicare utilization data less than 1% of Medicare beneficiaries eligible for free nutrition counseling take advantage of it, suggesting that people are not aware of this benefit or do not have access to a nutrition consultant. EatwiseRx is changing this by providing personalized nutrition counseling in the very place that individuals will benefit from it the most—their own home.
“The first step in controlling diabetes is a healthy eating plan, yet many people don’t know that nutrition counseling services are available to them at no cost,” says Jeff Ensminger, RD, clinical director for EatwiseRx. "EatwiseRx believes that everyone with diabetes should know about these services and have better access to them. Our highly trained Diabetes Diet Experts come to the individual's home and put together a personalized nutrition plan that will work for them."
One myth about diabetes diets is that you have to give up all of your favorite foods. EatwiseRx’s Diabetes Diet Experts work with each individual to develop a workable nutrition plan that supports their health goals while taking into account food preferences and lifestyle. By creating a personalized plan around each individual's needs and incorporating the foods that they like to eat, EatwiseRx can help them make lasting changes.
“The hardest thing about diabetes is being told that you can’t have your favorite foods,” adds Ensminger. “However, a healthy diet does not have to mean going to extremes. We have developed a new program in diabetes nutrition that is built on the foods that people like to eat and helps them to manage their disease in a way that is realistic for the way they live.”