Today is a very big day for me – it’s American Diabetes Association Alert Day! Also known as just “Alert Day,” which is what I call it.
As you all know, I work for the American Diabetes Association doing PR/strategic communications, and for the last four or five months, I’ve been working really hard to make sure Alert Day is a success. Not only is it my job to promote Alert Day, but it’s also something I care about personally.
An estimated 86 million American adults are at risk for type 2 diabetes, which comes out to about one in three people. One in three! Think of your two best friends. Chances are that between the three of you, one of you is at risk for type 2 diabetes. Isn’t that crazy? Want to know what’s even crazier? 90% of people most at risk don’t even know it. Ah!
Diabetes is such a miserable disease – the more I read about it, the more I sympathize with anyone who has it – and when it comes to type 2 diabetes, it’s almost always preventable (or able to be delayed) through healthy lifestyle changes.
Through my job I’ve talked to lots of people who are at risk for type 2 diabetes and just don’t do anything about it. They know they’re overweight, they know they don’t eat well, and they know they need to exercise more. Some people even know that because of their ethnicity or family history, they’re even more at risk, but they still do nothing about it.
(FYI – African Americans and Hispanics are nearly twice as likely as their white counterparts to have diabetes, and 30% of diabetes in these groups is undiagnosed. Also, Asian Americans are more likely to have diabetes even at a lower BMI than the rest of the general public. This means an Asian American might look like they’re at a healthy weight, but could still be at an increased risk for diabetes.)
Alert Day is our opportunity to reach out to these people and tell them to WAKE UP! Take control of your health!
If this is something you care about, here’s what you can do. Take and share the online Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test at diabetes.org/risktest. It only takes a minute and asks questions like “Are you physically active,” and “Do you have a family history of diabetes.” In just 60 seconds, you can learn if you’re at risk and what steps you can take to lower your risk and get healthy.
Now I’m assuming many of you CET readers are something like me: you’re young(ish), you eat (mostly) healthy foods, and you exercise (somewhat) regularly. But I also bet you know someone who doesn’t do those things.
For me, it’s the men in my life that I worry about. I want my dad, stepdad, future father-in-law, and grandfather to take care of their health. Heck, even Fabio could do a better job at managing his health. Why don’t men like going to the doctor or thinking about their health?! It’s maddening, I tell ‘ya. But, at least with this quick and easy online test, they can learn if they’re at risk for type 2 diabetes and (hopefully) get inspired to visit a doctor if they’re at high risk. That’s all I want, anyway.
So, please take a minute today to take the test yourself, and/or share it with a loved one. It will obviously help me with my work if I can get more people to take the test, but it’s about so much more than that. It’s about educating as many people as possible that they could be at risk for this miserable disease.
Remember, one person in three is at risk!
Question of the day: Did you take the test? Did you share it?
If you did, imagine me giving you a gigantic, virtual hug!