FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Check Your Risk” Awareness Challenge for National Diabetes Prevention Month
is to get 1 million Americans to Take a Life-Saving Survey.
Eighty-Eight million adult Americans are on the borderline of developing type 2 diabetes and the majority haven’t a clue. Many people don’t know that type 2 diabetes is not only preventable, but it is reversible with changes in lifestyle, especially nutrition and exercise.
November is National Diabetes Prevention Month. The “Check Your Risk” (CYR) Awareness Challenge has been launched to encourage one million Americans to answer a one-minute survey of eight questions to assess their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The survey was developed by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Those whose results indicate that they are at high risk are invited to a free webinar to learn more about type 2 diabetes, its prevention and reversal through making and sustaining positive lifestyle changes.
Francheasca Roberson, Executive Director of California-based nonprofit The Eight, Inc. is collaborating with Marci Kenon, Founder of New York-based Preventive Lifestyle Assistance Network (PLAN) to break the chains that type 2 diabetes has on members of underserved communities around the country, including those they serve.
“With knowledge comes power,” says Kenon, who was diagnosed with borderline diabetes in 2012 and attended a six-week diabetes prevention program. “I was stunned to hear my blood sugar was high. I had been diligent in my diet, I thought. I worked out much of my life. But I loved sweets, especially chocolate. A diet high in carbs and sugar will eventually catch up with you. I had to make changes to my diet. I had to practice what I preached to the clients I started to train as a fitness instructor the year I was diagnosed.”
The outbreak of the coronavirus has highlighted the pervasiveness of obesity and type 2 diabetes among Black and Brown people around the country. “Having type 2 diabetes increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned.
“Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black adults have a higher prevalence of obesity and are more likely to suffer worse outcomes from COVID-19. Racial and ethnic minority groups have historically not had broad opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health, and these inequities have increased the risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19 for some groups.”
Kenon and Roberson grasp the enormity of the diabetes and obesity problem, but it doesn’t stop them from doing their part to impact the health and wellness of those who need it most.
“There are a lot of resources available to the people we serve; they don’t know these resources exist,” Roberson says. “Getting people to check their risk opens the door. We then introduce those at high risk to resources available to them like the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) of which our partner PLAN is a provider. We won’t stop with diabetes.”
Kenon explains that CYR is an important step. The CYR challenge will continue beyond National Diabetes Prevention Month. The team is currently reaching out to various celebrities and influencers to join in this mission to get people to know their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and pointing them to resources available for them to change the trajectory of their lives. But there is more to come.
“There are tons of resources available to members of the communities we serve coast to coast,” Kenon explains. “These resources include technological assistance and funds for minority businesses. The ultimate goal of our collaboration is to make sure members of underserved communities know about available resources across the board so that we are health and whole physically, financially, mentally, and spiritually.”
CYR has the early support of the Adult Ministries department of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, a Protestant denomination known for its strong emphasis on the importance of living healthfully with a focus on proper nutrition, exercise, rest, and meditation - major components of its Eight Principles of Health.
“We look forward to reaching one million Americans,” Kenon shares confidently. “Then the goal will be increased to reaching 10 million people. With 88 million lives at stake, we’d still be only scratching the surface.”
“Check Your Risk”