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Standards Contribute to Healthy Living during American Diabetes Month

New York, Nov 10, 2008

November is American Diabetes Month, bringing attention to a syndrome that affects 23.6 million people across the nation. During this month of awareness and all year long, standards are in place to support several effective preventative measures that can reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that diabetes can be prevented or delayed by monitoring and making changes in diet, and increasing levels of physical activity. Thirty minutes a day of moderate physical activity, combined with a 5-10% reduction in body weight, was shown by the ADA’s Diabetes Prevention Program study to result in a 58% reduction in diabetes.

Several national and international standards are in place to facilitate the recommended monitoring of dietary intake. Guidance from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 34, Food products, offers information on the fat content of foods, including meat, milk, and cheese:

  • ISO 1444:1996, Meat and meat products -- Determination of free fat content

  • ISO 11870:2000, Milk and milk products -- Determination of fat content -- General guidance on the use of butyrometric methods

  • ISO 1735:2004, Cheese and processed cheese products -- Determination of fat content -- Gravimetric method (Reference method)

Monitoring fat intake in these and other food products can help reduce total caloric intake, leading to a weight loss that may reduce diabetes risk. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator of this TC is the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS), an ANSI member.

Another ISO standard provides information on the sugars that are found in many prepared foods – an ingredient of particular interest to diabetes and pre-diabetics. ISO 10504:1998, Starch derivatives -- Determination of the composition of glucose syrups, fructose syrups and hydrogenated glucose syrups -- Method using high-performance liquid chromatography, was developed by ISO TC 93, Starch (including derivatives and by-products).

Increasing physical activity can be challenging during the colder winter months, when going for a jog or playing tennis at the park isn’t a realistic option. Standards for workout equipment assure that indoor exercise is safe and effective. Developed by ASTM International – an ANSI member and audited designator – ASTM F2106-03, Standard Test Methods for Evaluating Design and Performance Characteristics of Motorized Treadmills provides guidelines for treadmills based on stability, exterior design, endurance, static loading overheating, adjustable incline system function, user interface parameters, motorized drive system operation, warning label compliance, and documentation.

For those who don’t prefer running, ASTM International also offers a standard on stationary bicycles. ASTM F1250-00(2006), Standard Safety Specification for Stationary Exercise Bicycles assures the safety of spinners using non-free-wheeling exercise bicycles with a directly driven flywheel, free-wheeling exercise bicycles, ergometer bicycles, and units designed to convert road bicycles to stationary exercise bicycles.

While following ADA guidelines won’t eliminate the possibility of diabetes, Americans can safely reduce their risk of developing the syndrome with the help of standards for nutrition and exercise equipment.

For more information on standards related to the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, see this ANSI news item: Standards Make a Difference on World Diabetes Day

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