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 theme for the 26th annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day is “Take it. Share it. Step Out.” The campaign encourages the public to not only take the risk test and share it, but also asks them to start living a healthy and active lifestyle.
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department works to help people prevent, control and manage diabetes and pre-diabetes year-round. The Community Health Equity and Education Program hosts a variety of classes, which you can learn about at health department’s website here. You can also learn about our Diabetes Health Chats series, five classes held monthly at five different locations throughout Lexington, here.
Why is Alert! Day Important?
Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States, and a quarter of them — seven million — do not even know they have it. An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have pre-diabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes seven 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.
Who Should Participate in Alert! Day?
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 increa sed risk for type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7 percent 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.
Alert! Day Raffle
Prior to Alert! Day, risk tests were distributed at employee events and site locations. If you completed a Risk Test and also shared tests with your loved ones for completion, remember to turn the tests into Janey Wendschlag by COB today, March 25, in order to be eligible for the Alert! Day raffle, a chance to win one of two $25 Visa gift cards – and don’t forget to turn in yours, too! Most importantly, if you have yet to take the Risk Test, click here.