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The 11th annual North Central Health Fair and BBQ was presented by the Lorne and Evelyn Johnson Foundation. (CBC News) Diabetes Canada held a health fair in Regina’s North Central community Wednesday. The barbeque was meant to help people assess health risks associated with diabetes.

Brie Hnetka, the Saskatchewan regional director for Diabetes Canada, said Indigenous people are three to five times more likely to get Type 2 diabetes.

"People who are Indigenous but also African, South Asian, Asian are all at higher risk," Hnetka said.

She said low-income families are more likely due to limited access to affordable and nutritional food.

North Central is a food desert with no grocery stores in the community itself. Hnetka said the health fair also brings attention to organizations, like the food bank, who offer fresh-food packages to Regina communities. REACH is a non-profit organization that offers ‘good food boxes’ at different depots in Regina. The boxes are distributed every two weeks and packages vary from $8-$21 for seasonal produce. REACH is offered to anybody in Regina and no social-assistance is needed. (Tory Gillis/CBC) "We offer a risk assessment, where people can learn what their risk is and about having to be screened for diabetes," Hnetka said, "Diabetes can be caught early so complications don’t happen." Other prevention methods

Hnetka said exercise will also lower the chances of developing diabetes. Hnetka says there are around 43,000 in Saskatchewan who don’t even know they have diabetes. (CBC News) "It is important to try and have a healthy lifestyle," Hnetka said, "(but) some people, no matter what they do, can still get Type 2 diabetes."

Hnetka said 100,000 people in Saskatchewan are affected by diabetes. Since symptoms are quiet and show over time, Hnetka said going for regular screenings is important for prevention and treatment.

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