Are you at risk of type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes Alert Day logo

Source: American Diabetes Association

Today is Diabetes Alert Day. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) launched the annual initiative 25 years ago. Every fourth Tuesday in March, it recommends that we take the Diabetes Risk Test.

The test evaluates your risk of having or developing type 2 diabetes. Seven easy questions — you can see them in the picture below.

If you score five or higher, you are at increased risk. To take the test online, go to the American Diabetes Association website.

It’s estimated that by 2050, one in three adults in the United States will develop type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease.

What happens is the body either can’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use the insulin it does produce properly.

Scientists don’t know exactly why it happens, but two things seem to be connected: Genetics and lifestyle factors, such as being overweight or not being active.

Type 2 diabetes can’t be cured, but it can be managed. Some people are able to control their blood sugar levels by following a healthy lifestyle; others may need medication, including insulin

Lowering your risk

To me, the big thing about type 2 diabetes is that in many cases, it can be prevented or at least, delayed. According to the ADA, the three most important things we should be doing are

  1. Stay at a healthy weight
  2. Eat well
  3. Be active

Shouldn’t we be doing all those things anyway so that we’ll have a better chance of living longer, healthier lives?

And by the way, eating well doesn’t mean filling your plate with whatever suits your fancy. “Our goal is for every American to learn how to prepare and choose healthy foods and never feel like they are sacrificing flavor or the enjoyment they get out of a good meal,” said Kevin L. Hagan on the ADA website. He’s the association’s CEO.

Take a moment to take the Diabetes Risk Test. If you find you are at risk, take a deep breath and get started. The ADA has lots of useful information on its website.

And here on Catching Health, we’ll continue to do our part by sharing tips from nutrition experts on how to choose, prepare and serve healthy foods and showing examples of how people are trying to get and stay fit. 

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Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. She now hosts and produces the Catching Health podcast and writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.