Photo: Adam Ewing
Diabetes is an epidemic in America, one Ed and Ann-Marie Stephens have seen firsthand. Ed's older sister has type 2 diabetes, and two of Ed's older brothers and their spouses have the condition, too. "My brother would see his wife cooking green vegetables and immediately leave the house in search of a Big Mac," he says. "As a nation, we are facing a nutrition crisis that has led to an obesity crisis. The idea of a portion has become so distorted that consumers lack awareness of food groups and proper sizes and nutrition."
Wanting to help their family members better manage the disease, Ed and Ann-Marie turned their know-how as successful chemical engineers into action. "We started to coach them so they would better understand the side effects of medications, learn how to eat differently, and how to exercise," Ann-Marie says. The couple launched typefreediabetes.com to establish a community where diabetics and their families could share products and solutions to the daily struggles they face.
They knew that portion control was an under-addressed issue essential to diabetes management. "Most people would just get a smaller plate, but if the T-bone steak takes up most of the plate and the leafy veg is only a very small portion, that's not any better. The balance is the key," Ann-Marie says.
The couple looked around the marketplace for useful portion-control products they could recommend, but they came up empty-handed. "Most of the products are industrial. They were not very friendly," Ann-Marie says. Together they created their portion-control product line, Precise Portions. Today, Ed's siblings are using the products designed by Ed and Ann-Marie and practicing the healthy-living strategies they've learned with the help of their family members. "They've lost weight," Ed says. "They're exercising more. They are in better positions than they were."
Ed and Ann-Marie's Top 3 Smart Strategies for Perfect Portions