Diabetes: Risky Perceptions
(BlackDoctor.org) — Tuesday, March 23 is the 22nd annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day, a one-day, “wake-up” call asking Americans one question:
“What Will You Do To Stop Diabetes?”
Over 3 million African Americans still have diabetes, and about one third of them still don’t know they have it. One major way BDO encourages you to join the Diabetes Alert Day movement is by taking the BDO Diabetes Risk Test to find out if you’re at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and to speak with your health care provider if you are at high risk. Click here to take the test.
What Is Diabetes?
• Diabetes is a group of diseases marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. Diabetes can lead to serious complications in every single part of the body, including various heart conditions, and it can lead to premature death.
• Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Total health care and related costs for the treatment of diabetes run about $132 billion annually.
Research has shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed – the critical key in accomplishing this is knowing the risk factors for diabetes.
In its second Survey of the Public’s Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Related to Diabetes, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) learned that while many people are aware of diabetes risk factors such as being overweight and physically inactive, people do not recognize their personal risk for type 2 diabetes.
In the recently conducted study:
• Less than one-third of people at high risk for diabetes reported feeling at increased risk.
• Upon learning they had pre-diabetes (a condition that places people at increased risk for diabetes, 64 percent of people report feeling at risk.
• Nearly 63 percent of respondents who reported feeling at risk for diabetes said they did so because they have a family history of diabetes.
• Additional trends show that while more people are aware of diabetes risk factors, that awareness is not translating into action, particularly when it comes to preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes:
What Do I Need To Do To Prevent Diabetes?
YES, diabetes can be prevented or delayed! The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), an important trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, showed that type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented in overweight adults with prediabetes, including African Americans. This study of 3,234 people at high risk for diabetes, with the same high risk factors for type 2 diabetes, showed that moderate diet and exercise resulting in a 5- to 7-percent weight loss delayed and prevented type 2 diabetes.
To prevent diabetes, the people who participated in the DPP study:
• Lost 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (that’s 10 to 15 pounds in a person who weighs 200 pounds).
• Were physically active for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Most participants chose brisk walking.
• Made healthier food choices and limited the amount of calories and fat in their diet.