Diabetes cooking class taught downtown - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Diabetes cooking class taught downtown

Suzanne Williams, Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Agent teaching class Suzanne Williams, Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Agent teaching class

Diabetes has strongly impacted Georgia, even more so in the southwestern part of the state. Albany has the second highest rates in Georgian adults, but a group of people are fighting back against the growing epidemic through a health based cooking class.

A class about sugar in the candy room at Georgia Extension may sound too good to be true, but the few folks in the downtown Albany class weren't learning about junk food. They were learning about healthy eating to fight the growing obesity epidemic.

"It also is becoming more and more prevalent in our young children, because of the childhood obesity problem," said Suzanne Williams, the Family & Consumer Science agent for University of Georgia. We're having more and more children getting type two diabetes."

The free class was centered on different types of sugar and cooking for diabetics. The Georgia Department of Public Health found that more than 12% of Albany's adults have diabetes. This is just slightly less than the states leader, Columbus, which has an adult prevalence of just under 13%.

The class included a cooking demonstration and even gave out a recipe book for helpful tips at home. One of the day's lessons focused on the negative aspects of sugar-free food, something many people may be unfamiliar with.  

"A lot of times when you buy the sugar free products, first off you pay more money, and most of the time they have more fats and Trans-fats especially," said Williams.

She has fist hand experience with the horrible disease after seeing her father suffer from it for years, which lead her to bring awareness to the growing problem. Her advice to those struggling with eating right is simply moderation.

"You know, instead of having a huge piece of cake, just have a sliver for special occasions. Don't let it be an everyday thing," she said.

Other advice is to stick to plenty of water and limit the amount of exposure to sugary drinks like fruit juice and soda.

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