November is American Diabetes Awareness month. In recognition of Dr. Fredrick Banting, credited with the discovery of insulin, the United Nations chose his birthdate, November 14th, as World Diabetes Day.
The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has named this year’s campaign “Diabetes is a Family Affair.” According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 79 million Americans are at risk of developing the disease.
Type 2 diabetes risk factors include being overweight, sedentary lifestyle, being over age 45, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, being from certain ethnic groups and having an immediate family member with the disease. A lesser known group of those at risk include the mother and child of a pregnancy and birth involving Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.
The good news is that Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented – or delayed! A recent study from the National Institutes of Health reports that the National diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has launched their Small Steps. Big Rewards campaign to help prevent the disease.
Significant success in prevention has been seen in individuals who lose between 5% and 7% of their bodyweight. The Small Steps program urges making modest, common sense changes to everyday living, which will benefit the entire family. These include:
- Smaller portion size
- Moderate daily exercise
- Investigate family history and share with your doctor
- Visit the NDEP website for up-to-the-minute information
For more complete information, the following websites are informative and provide links to additional reputable health sites: