Celebrating Diabetes Alert Day

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This article was done in conjunction with a partnership with BCBSM's A Healthier Michigan

In tune to Nutrition Month, the fourth Tuesday in March (March 26 this year) is also coined Diabetes Alert Day by the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Alert Day—a call to action for the nation to take steps to find out their type 2 diabetes risk level—offers a free Diabetes Risk Test for the American public. The test administers simple questions about weight, age, family history, and potential risk factors, then provides tips to everyone that takes the test and encourages those at high-risk to visit their doctor. Even more, Boar’s Head is promising to donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association for every test taken from March 26 to April 9, 2013. Diabetes Alert Day is a one-day call to action, but the test itself is available all year.

Specifically, about one in 400 children in America has diabetes. In 2010, in fact, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed for individuals twenty years or older. It may be said that the prevalence of diabetes in children has increased in the recent years. However, once you have taken the steps and completed the Diabetes Risk Test, there are a number of lifestyle changes and tips available to continue awareness. In addition to diet, the most important notion to remember is to stay active. Parental influence and role modeling for their children acts as a prevention and education starting point. 

Grace Derocha, registered dietitian and certified diabetes expert, social media community manager for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, stresses that “Diabetes Alert Day brings to the forefront the importance of diagnosing and treating diabetes appropriately, so that the outcome for the diabetic is better health and longer, happier lives.” 

Derocha points out that “according to the CDC, in the United States, seventy-nine million adults have prediabetes, which is up from fifty-four million just two years ago. Moreover, in Michigan, it is estimated over 2.5 million adults have prediabetes according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. It is also estimated only nineteen percent of people who have prediabetes have been diagnosed. So take the time to get tested today. Knowledge is power for a healthier life.”

Don’t forget to take the Diabetes Risk Test and empower yourself for Diabetes Alert Day.

What are you doing to prevent diabetes in your life? 

Written by: Kristin M. Coppens is the West Michigan writer for A Healthier Michigan. She has written freelance for numerous outlets in Grand Rapids, and previously worked in marketing and public relations. A self-proclaimed foodie, techie,and political nerd, Kristin is a huge promoter of Grand Rapids, and of Michigan as a whole. Photo: stock.xchng

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