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Health Myths: Get the Facts

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Diabetes

Myth: There's nothing you can do to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Fact: Diabetes prevention is proven, possible, and powerful. Studies show that people at high risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, losing only 10 pounds could make a difference. You can do it by eating healthier and getting 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week.

Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. People can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. This form of diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which fat, muscle, and liver cells do not use insulin properly.

More than 18 million Americans have diabetes, and 5.2 million cases are undiagnosed. An estimated 41 million U.S. adults aged 40–74 have prediabetes—that is, their blood sugar level is elevated but is not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk for developing diabetes.

Diabetes can cause heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, pregnancy complications, lower-extremity amputations, and deaths related to flu and pneumonia. Heart disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related deaths, and death rates are about 2–4 times higher for adults with diabetes than for those without the disease.

Diabetes & Me: Prevent Diabetes
http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/consumer/prevent.htm

Diabetes Prevention
http://www.ndep.nih.gov/diabetes/prev/prevention.htm

Am I At Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?
http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/riskfortype2/ (Non-CDC site)

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