Opinion: Help Diabetes Awareness

Diabetes is a devastating disease that affects nearly 26 million Americans — including one in nine people in Philadelphia, a rate that is higher than the national average. Approximately 79 million, or one third, of American adults have pre-diabetes or a sustained elevated blood glucose level. Half of the people with pre-diabetes will be  diagnosed with diabetes at some point in their lifetime.

These are the facts. Diabetes is growing at near-epidemic proportions, and we must take a stand. At the American Diabetes Association, we are leading the fight to stop diabetes and its deadly consequences, and we are fighting for those affected by diabetes. We fund research to find a cure and better treatments, as well as help people better manage all types of diabetes. The ADA also delivers services to the local community.?We provide objective and credible information and give a voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes.

One out of three Americans is obese, and two out of three are overweight. The risk factors for type 2 diabetes include family history, poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle and being over age 55. African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American individuals have a more than 15 percent higher incidence of diabetes than other populations.

A quarter of those affected by diabetes are not aware that they have the disease. As a vital step to increase public awareness of diabetes, we encourage people to take the online Diabetes Risk Test at Stopdiabetes.com. The test is free, easy and fast; it evaluates your potential risk factors for developing diabetes.

It will take the entire nation to rally around this cause and fight to put a dent in diabetes. Locally, the ADA is organizing events to raise funds for diabetes research, advocacy and education. The 20th annual Tour de Cure cycling event will be held Sunday, June 5, at Temple University, Ambler Campus. Designed for cyclists of all levels, the ride travels through scenic Montgomery and Bucks counties and bring together friends, family and colleagues who all support the fight against diabetes. On Oct. 1, thousands will gather at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to participate in the 5K Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes presented by Independence Blue Cross.

The time for action is now. Today, you can make a personal pledge to stop diabetes and its devastating consequences for people throughout our region.

–Russell Moore is the executive director of the American Diabetes Association’s central, southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey region.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Send 300-word submissions to letters@metro.us.


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