Diabetes & Fear

When talking about diabetes, it’s tempting to spout statistics. The numbers are scary, but will hearing scary statistics over and over cause the average American to take action so that they don’t become a statistic? Or will it overwhelm and scare them into not doing anything at all?

Of course, it’s important to get the message out there about diabetes. But maybe we can do a better job of helping some people by addressing this disease in a less intimidating way. Our new Type 2 Diabetes Risk Poster and matching tearpad can help you do just that. It’s very straightforward, providing:

  • A checklist of risk factors.
  • A chart with blood glucose/A1C levels for normal, prediabetes, and diabetes.
  • Three steps to prevent diabetes.
  • A statement about how high blood sugar can damage the body.

This information is basic but should spark people’s interest enough to get them to consider what step they need to take, whether it’s getting a blood glucose test or talking to their doctor or dietitian.

You could also use the information on this poster as the basis for a short class, group chat, or Facebook Live session discussing these three questions:

  1. Are you at risk of developing diabetes? How many of your risk factors are in your power to change?
  2. Do you know your blood glucose numbers (A1C, fasting, glucose tolerance test)? More importantly, do you know what they mean?
  3. What are you willing to do to prevent diabetes? Consider changes to your diet and exercise routine and modest weight loss.

You can follow up on the discussion with time for Q&A. Or simply ask participants to submit their questions, to be answered in a future session.

Be sure to end with a call to action. Ask participants to write down 1-3 things they will do based on what they’ve learned. Will they make an appointment to find out their glucose numbers? Take a walk after dinner every night? Calculate 5-7 percent of their body weight and use this number as a weight loss goal?

Above all, encourage folks to visit their doctor and get a blood glucose/A1C test – even if they’re afraid to learn that they have diabetes. Remind them that knowledge is power, and power is better than fear!

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updated on 08-10-2020