Nearly 24 million people over the age of 20 -- eight percent of the U.S. population -- have diabetes. Fifty-seven million more are on the precipice of diabetic blood sugar levels.
Diabetes, a condition where the body can't properly use and store glucose, can cause a host of health problems including heart attacks, stokes, blindness, impotence and blood vessel damage that could require amputation.
Anyone can get diabetes -- but people who are overweight, inactive, have high blood pressure or cholesterol or a family history of diabetes are at greater risk. The disease isn't completely preventable, but there are a few simple steps you can take to lower your risk.
Whether you know someone with diabetes, have it yourself, or want to prevent yourself from developing it, pledge to follow these healthy practices and lower your risk for diabetes and its side effects. I pledge to lower my risk for diabetes by:
-Eating less fried food
-Cutting back on red meat
-Reducing my intake of butter and sweets
-Exercising for 30 minutes four days a week
-Finding ways to be active every day, like walking the dog or taking the stairs
-Working toward or maintaining a healthy weight
-Staying educated about the warning signs of diabetes
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