October is National Family Health Month

Know Your Family Health History to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
By the National Diabetes Education Program

Many serious diseases run in families, including diabetes. Talking about health history with your family may make all the difference when it comes to preventing type 2 diabetes. If you have a mother, father, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes, you are at risk.

Although you can’t change your health history, knowing about it can help you work with your health care team to take action on the things you can change. People at risk for type 2 diabetes should take steps to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.

Small steps to prevent type 2 diabetes:

  • Make a healthy lifestyle plan that includes losing a small amount of weight if you are overweight – 5 to 7 percent (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) – and becoming more active.
  • Lose weight by making healthy food choices, such as fruits and veggies, fish, lean meats, poultry without skin, dry beans and peas, whole grains, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese. Choose water to drink.
  • Cut back on calories by eating smaller portions. Make half your plate veggies and/or fruit, one-fourth whole grains, such as brown rice, and one-fourth a protein food, such as lean meat, poultry or fish, or dried beans.
  • Be active at least 30 minutes, five days per week to help you burn calories and lose weight. You don’t have to get all your physical activity at one time. Split your physical activity into three daily 10-minute sessions. Choose something you enjoy and invite your family members to join you. The more you like the activity, the more likely you are to continue being active.
  • Write down all the foods you eat and drink, along with the number of minutes you are active each day. To help you reach your goals, take time to review it daily.

For more information on preventing type 2 diabetes, order a free copy of Your GAME PLAN to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes from the National Diabetes Education Program at www.YourDiabetesInfo.org or call 1-888-693-NDEP (6337); TTY: 1-866-569-1162.

For information on making healthy lifestyle changes, check out NDEP’s Support for Behavior Change Resource, an online library of resources at www.YourDiabetesInfo.org/.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.

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