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Diabetes: Could You Be at Risk?

Did you know that even if no one in your family has ever had diabetes, you could be at risk?

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says not enough people are asking if they, personally, are at risk, and it’s something to take seriously. Diabetes can damage your:

  • eyesight
  • heart
  • kidneys
  • nervous system.

It can eventually lead to death.

Having a family history of diabetes certainly is a risk factor, but it is not the only one. And many people have made the unhappy discovery that they are the first in their family to be diagnosed.

Besides having a close relative who has already been diagnosed with diabetes, other factors that put you at higher risk include:

  • being over 40 – although more and more children are getting diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
  • being African American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian American
  • having gestational diabetes during pregnancy
  • delivering a baby over 9 pounds.

Watch the video below to understand your risks even better!

Take Control, Lower Your Risk

The good news is that weight and physical activity are things you can control. To lower your risk for diabetes:

  • lose weight if you are overweight
  • increase your amount of daily physical activity
  • eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

You may think that you need to lose a lot of weight to improve your health.  In reality, people who are overweight or obese need to lose only 5-7% of their body weight to achieve a health benefit.  For example, that would be 10-14 pounds for the person who weighs 200 pounds and is 60 pounds overweight.


Could You Be at Risk for Diabetes?

Do you know if you are at risk for diabetes?  Could you be one of the nearly 7.0 million Americans who have diabetes but do not know it?

Find Out Your Diabetes Risk.

Talk with your doctor if you’re concerned.


Due to today’s culture, we may all be at risk. Find out why!


Weight-control Information Network (NIDDK)


This article originally appeared in Chow Line (10/05/03), a service of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and was adapted for use on NetWellness with permission.

For more information:

Go to the Diabetes health topic.