American Diabetes Association Alert Day, which is held every fourth Tuesday in March, is a one-day, “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This year, Alert Day will kick-off on March 25 and we will continue our campaign through April 25.
In 2013, on Alert Day, we had over 39,000 people take the risk test and during the month of March, we had over 148,000 with 37 percent of them being at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. We are excited to once again encourage the public to take the risk test by driving them to Facebook where they can also ask questions, engage with our community, and share the test with friends and loved ones. For every Diabetes Risk Test taken, Boar’s Head Brand® – a leading provider of premium delicatessen products – will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association starting March 25 through April 25, 2014, up to $50,000.
The tagline for our 26th Annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day will be “Take it. Share it. Step Out.” We will not only be encouraging the public to take the risk test and share it, but we will be asking them to start living a healthy and active lifestyle. One way to do this is by joining one of our Step Out®: Walk to Stop Diabetes® events nationwide. Our Step Out events happen mainly in October and what better way to get active now than by gearing up for a walk event in your area.
Why is Alert Day important?
Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States, and a quarter of them—seven million—do not even know they have it. An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes seven to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.
The Association has made a strong commitment to primary prevention of type 2 diabetes by increasing awareness of prediabetes and actively engaging individuals in preventative behaviors like weight loss, physical activity and healthful eating. Alert Day is a singular moment in time in which we can raise awareness and prompt action among the general public – particularly those at risk.
Who should participate in Alert Day?
Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight, under active (living a sedentary lifestyle) and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and people who have a family history of the disease also are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7 percent of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
What will happen on Alert Day?
For 26 years, the American Diabetes Association has set aside one special day for people to learn if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a growing epidemic in the United States, but it can be controlled with knowledge and healthy behavior. From March 25 through April 25, the Association will be encouraging the public to take the Diabetes Risk Test, as well as to share the test with everyone they care about – friends, family members and colleagues. As previously mentioned, the Association will be encouraging the public to start living a healthy and active lifestyle by asking them to join a Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes event in their area. With each person that takes the test, knows their risk and gets started living a healthy and active lifestyle, the Association is that much closer to stopping diabetes.
The Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other
potential risks for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the
test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider.
How does one obtain the Association’s Diabetes Risk Test and additional information about diabetes and a Step Out event near them?
You can be part of the movement to Stop Diabetes® and get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish), as well as information about diabetes and joining a Step Out event by visiting us on Facebook, diabetes.org/risktest or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Walgreens is supporting the American Diabetes Association Alert Day efforts and you can ask your local Walgreens pharmacist for a copy of the Diabetes Risk Test. Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.
Who is the primary target audience?
Americans with prediabetes
There are an estimated 79 million, or one in three American adults, who have prediabetes. Those with prediabetes have blood glucose (sugar) higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Early intervention via lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased physical activity can help delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Americans with undiagnosed diabetes
The following segments of the population are at greater risk for having undiagnosed diabetes:
- Older Americans: As people grow older, they are at an increased risk for developing diabetes. One out of every four Americans 65 and older has diabetes.
- High risk ethnic populations: African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.