Today is American Diabetes Association’s Alert Day®, which is a “wake-up call” asking Americans to take a minute of their day to take their Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test. This short test involves 7 simple yes-or-no questions about your age, gender, family history, weight, and other risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Take the 60-second diabetes risk test to see if you are at low or high risk and share the test with people you care about to help raise awareness about this disease.
Alert Day also kicks off a four-week campaign to raise awareness about diabetes and encourage the public to start living a healthy and active lifestyle. One way to take part in this campaign is to participate in a Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes event in your area. This fundraising walk has been taking place for more than 20 years and has raised over $175 million to find a cure for diabetes and to support the mission of the association.
Why is this important?
Diabetes affects nearly 30 million people in the United States, but more than a quarter of them do not even know that they have it. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also estimate that there are 86 million people with prediabetes who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Without proper treatment and management of diabetes for a prolonged time, deadly complications can arise. These complications include heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death. Although diabetes affects so many Americans, early diagnosis can lead to successful treatment and the risk of developing this disease can be reduced by engaging in preventative behaviors, like weight loss, physical activity and healthy eating.
Diabetes and Cancer
Although researchers are still trying to find the link between diabetes and certain cancers, it is known that both diseases share similar risk factors. This means that leading a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk for BOTH diabetes and cancer. Here are some of the risk factors that will increase your risk:
- Overweight – If you are overweight, even losing 7% of your body weight can make a difference.
- Physical inactivity – Set a goal to exercise 5 days a week. 30 minutes of brisk walking or a similar activity will work.
- Smoking – If you smoke, learn how you can quit. You can set a date to quit, throw away your cigarettes or ask others for help. If you don’t smoke, never start.
- Alcohol – Don’t drink more than the recommended limit of one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
To learn more about ADA’s Alert Day and their campaign, go to their homepage.
Here is also our previous blog post on American Diabetes Month, which includes few of our favorite diabetic-friendly recipes.