November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Month, a national observance designed to raise awareness about the risk factors, symptoms, types of diabetes, and the impact this disease has every day on millions of Americans. Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. 

Facts and statistics

  • There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant).
  • 90% - 95% of people with diabetes have type 2, which can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes.
  • In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has more than doubled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese.
  • Medical costs for people with diabetes are twice as high as for people who don’t have diabetes.
  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
  • 14.7% of all U.S. adults have diabetes, and 23% of them are undiagnosed.
  • Prevalence of diagnosed diabetes was highest among American Indians and Alaska Natives (14.5%), followed by non-Hispanic Blacks (12.1%), people of Hispanic origin (11.8%), non-Hispanic Asians (9.5%) and non-Hispanic Whites (7.4%).
  • Prevalence also varies by education level and income, with those with less education or income having higher rates of diabetes than those with more education or income.

Prediabetes: In addition, 38% of the adults in the U.S. has prediabetes. Prediabetes means blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but lower than the threshold for diagnosed diabetes. People who are overweight, over age 45, have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes, had gestational diabetes, or are not physically active are at risk of having prediabetes. Prediabetes raises your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It is possible to prevent or delay the development of diabetes with lifestyle changes such as eating healthy and being more physically active.

Smoking: Another risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes is smoking. Smokers are 30% - 40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers. Smokers who already have diabetes have a harder time managing their blood sugars and are at much higher risk of complications from diabetes. Quitting smoking is one of the best things someone can do for their health.

The Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 17 — if you smoke, try quitting for one day. Great American Smokeout ideas and resources.

Low-glycemic recipes

This holiday season, consider making these low-glycemic recipes, submitted by Vince Petronio, MVCC's Director of Hospitality Programs and Owner and Executive Chef at motus in Utica.

Helpful Resources

MVCC Employee Wellness Monthly Focus Calendar


Sleep and flu prevention

Breast cancer awareness

Diabetes awareness

Beating the winter blues

Mental health

Heart health

National Nutrition Month

Fitness Month

Nature and wellness

Skin care

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