Diabetes affects more than 23 million people in the United States today and another 54 million people have pre-diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More then 60% of those surveyed aren't taking the necessary steps to protect their health, according to a recent study by the International Diabetes Center and Abbott (NYSE: ABT). Just slightly more than a third of people surveyed have taken preventative action in their own lives to reduce their risk, and even fewer (29 percent) have spoken with their doctor about their chance of developing the condition.
"Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and it is important for people across the country to know their risks for developing the condition," said Maggie Powers, Ph.D., registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and research scientist, International Diabetes Center. Type 2 diabetes represents the vast majority of these cases, but the good news is it can be controlled -- or even prevented -- through a weight management plan that includes regular exercise and a balanced diet."
Many Americans are unaware of certain factors that place them at a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes:
While the survey shows that obesity is commonly understood as a leading risk factor for developing the diabetes, the majority of Americans (62 percent) think that age plays little or no role in their likelihood for developing the condition.
Nearly a third of people surveyed think balanced diet does not play a critical role in lowering the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Only 40 percent of Hispanic Americans and half of African Americans are aware that their ethnicity is a major risk factor, although both groups face a statistically higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
More than 55 percent of survey respondents with Type 2 diabetes said their hectic schedules get in the way of their management plan, with 20 percent ranking it as their number one challenge.
Despite the importance of starting the day with a healthy meal, two out of five people with Type 2 diabetes skip breakfast at least once per week.
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