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Public Knows about Diabetes, Takes No Action

Sep 15, 2011

Americans are well informed about the risks, dangers, and signs of diabetes — but that knowledge does not appear to translate into actions to prevent or control the disease, researchers reported. Almost 87% of the 3,867 type 2 diabetes respondents in a huge national sampling knew that obesity contributes to chronic disease; more than 75% were aware that type 2 diabetes was as dangerous to health as type 1 diabetes, and 90% were aware that diabetes is more than just a “sugar” disease. Only 57.3% of the people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes who filled out eight-page questionnaires on health and lifestyle practices said they were even “considering” a plan to lose weight. That’s despite only 23.4% of the people surveyed saying they considered their health excellent. Green said that 17.2% of the high-risk cohort said they would rather take medication than change their lifestyle — about twice the 8.8% of low-risk people in the survey who said they would rather look for a silver bullet in a pill bottle than lose weight and exercise. Green A, “Final Results of the SHIELD Study — Epidemiologic and public policy considerations from a five-year prospective diabetes mellitus study” ADA 2011.