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Indian diabetes treatment addresses diet, exercise

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Urban Indian health clinics in South Dakota are incorporating exercise and meal planning into their diabetes treatment to combat the prevalence of the disease among Native American residents.

South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson toured the Urban Indian Health Center's Sioux Falls clinic on Monday, which in South Dakota is celebrated as Native American Day.

Executive Director Donna Keeler says doctors and nurses often tell diabetes patients to exercise more and eat better, but few heed the advice unless somebody helps them plan meals or shows them how to get on a treadmill.

The Sioux Falls clinic is adding a fitness center that will provide child care three nights a week, and the Pierre location features a full teaching kitchen that helps with hands-on meal planning, shopping and preparation.