Jan. 24, 2016 – Remember the old forest service warning from Smokey the Bear? “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.” Years ago when I was in elementary school in Arlington, Virginia, the forest service artist who created the cartoon character Smokey the Bear came to our class and showed us how to very simply draw Smokey. Even to this day, I can do a decent sketch of Smokey based on the hints and tips that artist provided in our class. Now if you have diabetes (or pre-diabetes), that means unless you are without family, your related family members have “1-point” on a simple test for pre-diabetes. 5-points and your family member probably HAS pre-diabetes. Hence my comment: “Only You Can Prevent Diabetes.”
Chat with relatives about diabetes and the warning signals
Don’t keep it a secret, warn your family members they might be susceptible to diabetes. And there is a simple, 5-point test they can take to see how likely pre-diabetes is based on their unique circumstances.
Pre-diabetes ad campaign releasedPre Diabetes Ad Campaign
On January 22, 2016, an easy and informative pre-diabetes ad campaign was released to raise awareness of pre-diabetes, a condition that shows higher-than-normal blood glucose levels but not so high that one would be classified as diabetic. Using some basic humor, the spokesperson gives you a very simple test and you count up the result. Are you a man? You get 1 point. Are you over 60, you get 3 points… and Do you have a family member with diabetes? You get 1 point. You can see the campaign ad <click here>. As of when I viewed the campaign – Sunday Night – only 6,631 people had viewed the “Take the Pre-diabetes Risk Test.” I would hope to see more.
This ad campaign was launched by the American Diabetes Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, and the Ad Council. I doubt if many news outlets have either shown this ad or referred people to the YouTube version. But let’s face it, many journalists are young and if it doesn’t affect them, they might not be interested.
If you are a diabetic now…
However, if you are diabetic, you personally know the problems it brings to everyday life. And there was a time that you were probably “pre-diabetic.” It was during that time that borderline high blood sugar could have been treated with exercise and diet. Some might criticize this ad because it make people think they have pre-diabetes when they actually don’t. And some are suggesting this would cause people to do medical treatments that might be unnecessary. But I read one comment on another site that said: “I have pre-diabetes and I wish I had known earlier as I would have avoided carbs and exercised more (as I am now). Also, strong studies prove that even having “pre-diabetes” doubles cardiovascular disease risk. So it’s important for people to learn and have a chance to attempt to mitigate.”
I completely agree. I wish I knew more about pre-diabetes and I wish my physician would have been tougher on me to “get with the program” and try to take early corrective action.
I do now. I’ve cut back on carbs, too. I also am more active (probably not as much as I should, but at least I walk the dogs twice a day). And I’ve lost weight.
At the very least, if a person does have pre-diabetes, we know that there is an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Experts feel that about 90% of the approximately 86 million people in the USA who have pre-diabetes actually know it. Recent studies suggest that ½ of people over 65 have pre-diabetes. And about 30% to 35% of people over 18 have pre-diabetes.
Research shows that if a person with pre-diabetes does not do the lifestyle changes needed, somewhere between 15% and 30% of these people with actually develop diabetes within 5 years.
Effective treatment can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes for those in high-risk groups. Treatment usually includes increasing activity level, eating better and being aware of diabetes and steps to take and decisions to be made.
So chat with family members today who might be at risk for Pre-diabetesChat with Family Members Today to Help Prevent Diabetes
Remember, “Only You Can Prevent Diabetes!” … Not Really. But if you have diabetes and can take time to inform family members of the risks of pre-diabetes and the importance of actually finding out what their blood glucose levels are and to watch them periodically over time, perhaps you can help stave off diabetes for a few of your family members. Like the Smoke the Bear Artist who gave our class those easy tips, family members might remember your hints and tips and they will thank you for your concern and advice.