If you have a family history of diabetes, are obese, are over age 45 and get little or no exercise, or belong to certain racial or ethnic groups you may be at risk. Take a simple quiz provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to learn your risk, and then take steps to lower your risk and protect your health.
As part of a campaign to educate the public about a recognized diabetes epidemic, March 22, 2011 was declared Diabetes Alert Day, and the CDC has added a featured page to its website, entitled: Learn Your Risk for Diabetes and Take Steps to Protect Your Health.
Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
According to the CDC, you are at higher risk of Type 2 (Adult-onset) diabetes, the most common kind, if you are:
- Have a parent, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Age 45 or older
- Developed diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes)
- Are not physically active
- Belong to certain racial or ethnic groups. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.
Ways You Can Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Studies have shown that even if you have prediabetes, you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of your body weight if you are overweight (that is only 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person), according to the CDC.
Two keys to success, cited by the CDC:
- Get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, dancing or gardening, every week.
- Eat a variety of foods that are low in fat, and reduce the number of calories you eat per day.
The CDC also advises that if you have prediabetes, you also can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by participating in a lifestyle intervention program that offers advice on healthy eating, physical activity and coping skills in a structured group setting.
The National Diabetes Prevention Program, jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the CDC, is working with community-based organizations, such as the Y, and third-party payers, such as UnitedHealth Group, to bring evidence-based lifestyle intervention programs to communities across America.
More information about Diabetes and Diabetes Prevention is available from the National Diabetes Education Program, co-sponsored by the NIH and he CDC.
See also, 4 Steps to Control Your Diabetes For Life, a 20 page pamphlet published by the NIH and CDC as part of the National Diabetes Education Program.
And, See HelpingYouCare™’s resource pages on Diabetes – including the latest News, and sub-pages on What is it? Causes; Symptoms & Diagnosis, Prevention, Treatments, and Caregiving for Diabetes.
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