Find out if you're at risk for type 2 diabetes - WFLA News Channel 8

Find out if you're at risk for type 2 diabetes

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

You may be one of 79 million Americans who are at risk of diabetes and don't know it. That's why the American Diabetes Association wants to get the word out about its 25th Annual Alert Day, a day set aside to encourage people to find out if they are at risk.

The test takes less than a minute. The American Diabetes Association hopes that everyone will take the test to become aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

According to ADA's web site, people who are overweight, under active (living a sedentary lifestyle), and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at a higher risk for the disease. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and people who have a family history of the disease are also at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7% of body weight (such as 15 pounds, if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Darlene White knows what it's like to live with the disease. The Tampa Bay area woman has been diabetic for 40 years.

"You gotta be committed," White said.  White is among some 26 million children and adults in the US living with the disease and ADA officials say seven million of them don't even know it. Knowing is half the battle. White does her best to get the word out.

"The earlier you find out the earlier you start eating right, exercising, stress management, it all comes into play. The healthier you will be," White said.

Recent statistics show one in three Americans have pre-diabetes, which puts them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. That's why the ADA wants to raise awareness. Plans are already underway for the ADA to host its annual Tour De Cure bike ride.

"I see this as a vehicle to get communities healthy," said Melissa Brochu-Parsons, organizer of Tour De Cure.

She added, "Just the mission itself, to improve the lives of people with diabetes," is why they do what they do.

Whether you're an avid cyclist or a novelist, the Tour offers something for you. There's a 100 mile route, 62 mile route, 35 mile route or for the less adventurous, a 10-mile family fun run.

And for the first time ever, Darlene White is taking part and encouraging others to as well. Tour De Cure Is Sunday April 7th in Lakewood Ranch.

For more information or to register, visit www.diabetes.org/swfloridatour. There is a $25 registration fee. All the money supports diabetes research through the ADA.

If cycling isn't your thing, walk with the American Diabetes Association during the annual Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes. 

Text ROD to 69866 to join Team Red Tampa at Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes on Nov 9th.

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