American Diabetes Association Alert Day is observed countrywide every year on the fourth Tuesday in March. This year, Diabetes Alert Day will be observed on March 24 and serve as a one-day wake-up call to inform the American public about the seriousness of diabetes, particularly when it is left undiagnosed or untreated. The aim is to draw the nation’s attention to the issues surrounding this chronic condition and the many people who are impacted by it. The theme for this year is – "Take it. Share It. Step Out".
Diabetes affects about 29 million children and adults in the United States and a quarter of them (about 7 million) are not aware that they are affected. It is estimated that about one in three American adults suffer from pre-diabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes.
The goal of Diabetes Alert Day is to educate the general public about risk factors and warning signs associated with the condition and identify people who remain undiagnosed. Diagnosis may come even after seven to ten years after the onset of the disease, while early detection is important for effective treatment and reducing risk of associated complications such as heart disease, kidney failure, stroke, amputation and even death.
This year, on the 75th anniversary of the American Diabetes Association, Alert Day which starts on March 24 will continue through April 21. Hospitals, healthcare centers, and other types of medical facilities across the nation will host events such as seminars, discussions and presentations to raise public awareness about diabetes.
The campaign urges the general public to take the ADA’s Diabetes Risk Test and find out if they are at risk of developing diabetes. The risk test asks people to answer simple questions about their age, body weight, family history and other risk factors associated with this condition. Preventive steps are provided for people who undertake the test by encouraging them to bring positive lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased physical exercises and healthy diet to prevent the onset of this deadly disease.
Join the movement to stop diabetes! Make the right dietary and lifestyle choices and encourage others to do so too.