Diabetes: a Health Risk


Type 2 Diabetes is a significant threat to the health and well-being of many Oklahomans. In 2012, Oklahoma ranked the 4th highest in diabetes mortality rate in the nation. (1)  Nearly 90 percent of people with the condition prediabetes don’t know they have it, and many are unaware of the long-term risks to their health. These risks include an increased incidence of heart disease and stroke.  In many cases, prediabetes can be modifiable through lifestyle changes such as eating healthy foods and increasing physical activity. However, without knowing current blood sugar levels, an individual is less likely to make the necessary lifestyle changes. Therefore, diagnosis is a key step for prevention.

Prediabetes is identified when your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Risk factors associated with prediabetes include 45 years of age or older, overweight, a parent with diabetes, and physically active less than three times a week. The following tips provide ways individuals can prevent or delay the occurrence of prediabetes or diabetes:

·         Stop using tobacco products

·         Maintain a healthy weight

·         Manage stress

·         Manage blood pressure and blood glucose

·         Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week

·         Eat a variety of foods that are low in fat and reduce the number of calories eaten per day by controlling portion size (2)

OSU offers a variety of programs and services that can help identify the risk of prediabetes or diabetes, and assist with behavior modification if warranted.  Examples of these opportunities are:

·         Weight Watchers at Work

·         The B.A.L.A.N.C.E. Program

·         Cowboy Challenge

·         Fitness Works with Blue Cross Blue Shield

·         Catapult Health Screenings

·         Choose Orange Dietary Program

·         Nutrition Counseling

·         ComPysch

1.       Diabetes in Oklahoma

2.       Diabetes at work: Healthy Lifestyles