In 2011, the American Diabetes Association encouraged Americans to “Join the Million Challenge” and more than 600,000 people took the Diabetes Risk Test. On March, 27, 2012, the Association will aim to top that number, inspiring people to take the all-new Diabetes Risk Test, as well as to share the test with everyone they care about – friends, family members and colleagues. With each person that takes the test and knows their risk, the Association is that much closer to stopping diabetes.
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.
The new 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.
Diabetes by the Numbers
Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States, and a quarter of them—7 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. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take the steps to Stop Diabetes®.
Are You at Risk?
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.
Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes 7 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 American Diabetes 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.
Take Charge of Your Health
Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7% 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.
You can be part of the movement to Stop Diabetes® and get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish) by visiting the Association on Facebook, stopdiabetes.com or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.
About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.