By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Pennsylvania Convention Center is getting ready to host the annual convention of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

Nadine Uplinger is the host chair of the AADE, and says this is the largest gathering of diabetes educators ever.

“We expect about 5,000 people and they’ll be from all over the United States, and there will also be some from various European countries as well as Canada and Mexico and South America.”

She says educators will be learning how to use social media to connect with those at risk of getting diabetes, how to encourage better food choices, improve lifestyle behaviors and understand medications.

Uplinger says this is a chronic illness that continues to effect too many Americans.

“Seventy-nine million people in the United States with pre-diabetes, which means if they do not make behavioral changes and improve their lifestyles they will be diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes unfortunately is one of the top health threats in the United States today. One in four Americans has diabetes.”

The conference runs through Saturday. The city is expected to receive a $20 million economic bump from the gathering.

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