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Does Your Family History Include Type 2 Diabetes?

Does Your Family History Include Type 2 Diabetes?

Photo: FamilyIf your mother, father or grandparents have type 2 diabetes, you are more likely to develop it, too. Making healthy food choices and staying active can help you prevent or delay the disease.

February is Black History Month. This is a time set aside to commemorate African Americans who have made contributions to society, whether they are world renowned figures, family members or people from your community. It is also a time to remember what health concerns and conditions your family has faced, such as diabetes.

Family history is closely associated with developing type 2 diabetes later in life. This is especially true in the African-American community since nearly 13% of African Americans over the age of 20 are living with diabetes. And the numbers are still rising. Maybe you have diabetes and are worried about your family members developing the disease, too. CDC estimates that as many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050, unless something changes.

Diabetes is a serious problem within the African-American community, but there is good news. A study, the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), proved that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed in those at high risk for the disease.

How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Photo: prepaiing a healthy saladThe National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) – a joint initiative between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health – has developed a tip sheet, More than 50 Ways to Prevent DiabetesExternal Web Site Icon, to help African Americans learn how to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. More than 50 Ways includes tips to help you follow a low-fat, reduced-calorie meal plan and to be more active physically. Although these tips were developed with African Americans in mind, they are helpful to anyone interested in learning about preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes.

In the 2002 findings of the Diabetes Prevention Program study, scientists found that people can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing some weight (5–7 percent of their weight, or about 10-14 pounds in a 200-pound person), making healthy food choices (consuming less fat and fewer calories), and participating in physical activity (such as 30 minutes of brisk walking, 5 days a week).

Diabetes Education and Resources

The National Diabetes Education Program offers a range of resources that provide the foundation for conducting outreach activities in communities across the country. To help fulfill its mission of changing the way diabetes is treated, the NDEP has created awareness campaigns to spread the good news about diabetes prevention and control. Each campaign provides a wealth of tools—brochures, tip sheets, provider kits, public service advertising, and more—that you can use to reach out to people with diabetes, people at risk, or healthcare professionals.

More than 50 Ways to Prevent Diabetes is a companion piece to the NDEP Small Steps. Big Rewards. Prevent type 2 Diabetes Adobe PDF file [PDF - 997KB]External Web Site Iconcampaign. The key theme of this campaign is that people at risk for type 2 diabetes can reap big rewards – such as the delay or prevention of type 2 diabetes and its complications – by taking small steps to implement healthy lifestyle behaviors. For more information on More than 50 Ways to Prevent Diabetes, please contact the CDC National Diabetes Education Program by e-mail (CDCINFO@cdc.gov) or call 800-232-4636. To learn more about diabetes or to access free diabetes resources, visitwww.yourdiabetesinfo.orgExternal Web Site Icon or call 1-888-693-NDEP (6337).