Each year on the fourth Tuesday in March, the American Diabetes Association hosts Diabetes Alert Day to help people determine their risk for Type 2 Diabetes.

One in every three people are at risk for developing this chronic disease. Type 2 Diabetes increases the risk for developing other chronic health issues involving the heart, kidneys, eyes and nervous system. Often undiagnosed, Type 2 Diabetes can cause unnecessary damage to these vital organs. Lifestyle behaviors can be modified when you know your risk. Knowing your risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes can greatly improve your long-term health.

The following questions will help you assess your risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Answer each question below, and add up your total points for each answer to reveal your score.

1. How old are you?

a. Less than 40 years: 0 points

b. 40-49 years: 1 point

c. 50-59 years: 2 points

d. 60 years or older:  3 points


a. Male: 1 point

b. Female: 2 points

3. If you are a woman, have you ever been diagnosed with gestational diabetes?

a. Yes: 1 point

b. No: 0 points

4. Do you have a mother, father, brother or sister with Diabetes?

a. Yes: 1 point

b. No: 0 points

5. have you ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure?

a. Yes: 1 point

b. No: 0 points

6. are you physically active?

a. Yes: 0 points

b. No: 1 point

7. what is your weight category?


Chart source: American Diabetes Association

What do the results mean?

A score of 5 or higher demonstrates an increased risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes and you should consult with your primary doctor to determine your best course of action.

The good news is that you can change your risk level. If you are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, you can make simple lifestyle changes to manage your diabetes and decrease your risk for long term complications.

Eating a healthy diet is one step you can take to decrease your risk. If you don’t know where to start, check out Create Your Plate on the American Diabetes Association website. This is an interactive tool to help you create healthy meal plans. The Plate Method keeps healthy eating simple.

Exercise is another step you can take to decrease your risk. An elaborate exercise plan is not necessary. Every movement counts! It is better to make small goals for some consistent activity each day to be successful.

It takes 30 days to create new habits and it takes 90 days to create a new lifestyle, so develop a plan that you can stick with. Taking a few simple steps now can improve your health over your lifetime!