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Despite Concern, Americans Aren’t Protecting Themselves Against Diabetes


Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with moderate weight loss and exercise1, but only about one in three Americans have taken action to reduce their risk

Columbus, Ohio — Diabetes affects more than 23 million people in the United States today and another 54 million people have pre-diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, while nearly 60 percent of Americans are concerned about developing diabetes, many aren’t taking the necessary steps to protect their health, according to a recent study by the International Diabetes Center and Abbott. Just slightly more than a third of people surveyed have taken preventative action in their own lives to reduce their risk, and even fewer (29 percent) have spoken with their doctor about their chance of developing the condition.

“Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and it is important for people across the country to know their risks for developing the condition,” said Maggie Powers, Ph.D., registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and research scientist, International Diabetes Center. “Type 2 diabetes represents the vast majority of these cases, but the good news is it can be controlled – or even prevented – through a weight management plan that includes regular exercise and a balanced diet.”
Understanding Risk Factors

Many Americans are unaware of certain factors that place them at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes.

* While the survey shows that obesity is commonly understood as a leading risk factor for developing the diabetes, the majority of Americans (62 percent) think that age plays little or no role in their likelihood for developing the condition.
* Nearly a third of people surveyed think balanced diet does not play a critical role in lowering the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
* Only 40 percent of Hispanic Americans and half of African Americans are aware that their ethnicity is a major risk factor, although both groups face a statistically higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Managing Type 2 Diabetes

From families to careers to busy social lives, people with diabetes have to manage much more than just their condition. To properly manage type 2 diabetes, regularly scheduled, balanced meals, daily exercise and frequent blood glucose monitoring should be part of a diabetes management plan.

* More than 55 percent of survey respondents with type 2 diabetes said their hectic schedules get in the way of their management plan, with 20 percent ranking it as their number one challenge.
* Despite the importance of starting the day with a healthy meal, two out of five people with type 2 diabetes skip breakfast at least once per week.

In spite of the challenges, people with diabetes shouldn’t be discouraged and can find balance in their lives through a structured diet plan that includes proper nutrition and the use of products to help manage blood glucose levels like Glucerna® shakes, snack bars and cereals. Specially formulated with unique blends of slowly digested carbohydrates, Glucerna products are convenient for everyday use and designed to reduce blood sugar spikes, which can lead to lower A1C levels when used as part of a diabetes management plan.

Mother Love, author, TV personality, and Ambassador for the American Diabetes Association Research Foundation shares how she found balance by taking charge of her health. “I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes years ago and once I learned to accept the condition, I lost weight and found a healthy balance in my life,” she said. “I know life with diabetes can be challenging, but having the tools for healthy living is half the battle.”
Related Resources and Links

* Diabetes Resources and Tools:
* Glucerna en Espańol:
* Media Assets:
* Purchase Glucerna Products:
* Abbott Nutrition:

About the Survey

The International Diabetes Center and Abbott survey was conducted among 500 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and older, with an oversample of 100 African Americans ages 18 and older, 100 Hispanic Americans ages 18 and older and 300 Americans ages 18 and older with type 2 diabetes. The surveys were conducted online by Wedbush Decision Metrics from March 12-16, 2010. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population over age 18.
About the International Diabetes Center

International Diabetes Center at Park Nicollet provides world-class diabetes care, education and clinical research to meet the needs of people with diabetes, their families and the health professionals who care for them. Located in suburban Minneapolis, the center is recognized internationally for its range of clinical and educational programs, products and services. International Diabetes Center is part of Park Nicollet Institute, a division of Park Nicollet Health Services.

About Glucerna
Glucerna products have been improving the lives of people with diabetes for more than 20 years. They offer great-tasting nutritional options to help manage blood sugar levels and can help people with diabetes eat better and stay balanced. Glucerna products are for use under medical supervision as part of a diabetes management plan. For product photos and fact sheets, visit:

About Abbott
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs approximately 83,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.
1 CDC,, accessed 03-29-10


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