Diabetes sucks, doesn’t it? Finally, something we can all agree on.
Though it is frequently overlooked, this month is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Roughly 29 Million Americans suffer from the disease in some form or another, and unfortunately, it’s on the rise. Though the disease is clearly prevalent, it seems relatively misunderstood by the general population.
I asked three questions to begin gauging what U.S. adults do and do not know.
1) How Many Types of Diabetes Are There?
Do you know how many types of Diabetes there are? If you do, you’re one of the 6% of adults who got this question right. No, there are not only two types of Diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are four. Depending on who you ask, however, that number may only be three, or possibly higher if you count very rare forms.
Though there is some ambiguity, even if we counted all those who answered three and higher (taking into account different resources and opinions), only 28% of adults would still be correct. No matter how you spin it, 50% of people think there are only two types of Diabetes, and 21% answered that they don’t know. That’s incredibly telling.
2) Carbs vs. Calories
On a more positive note, 67% of adults correctly answered that carbohydrates are more important to pay attention to when managing Diabetes. Even still, 33% of people either did not know or answered incorrectly.
Overall, this is pretty good news! For more information on why carbs are important to consider when managing Diabetes, check out the American Diabetes Association’s nutritional resources.
3) True or False: Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
Further good news! It seems that many people are aware that a healthy diet and exercise can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, which is the most common type.
To summarize, it seems that although Diabetes is on the rise, education about the disease is as well. The number of people who are aware of at least one way to help prevent the disease, and one way to manage it, is impressive. Further education is necessary, however, on the different types of Diabetes.
If people are unaware of forms this disease can take, they will be unable to recognize symptoms or manage their treatment.