Diabetes Educators, Mary Beth Fisher_Melissa Zalonis

Mary Beth Fisher and Melissa Zalonis, NKCH diabetes educators

November is American Diabetes Month®, and to help raise awareness for this chronic condition, the American Diabetes Association wants to debunk some myths and provide a few facts that can help you prevent diabetes or manage your symptoms.

Myth: If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop Type 2 diabetes.

Fact: Being overweight is a risk factor for developing diabetes, but other risk factors such as family history, ethnicity and age also play a role. Unfortunately, too many people think weight is the only risk factor. Most overweight people never develop Type 2 diabetes, and many people who do are either within a normal weight or only moderately overweight.

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

Fact: The answer isn’t simple. Genetics and unknown factors trigger the onset of Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. Being overweight increases your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, and a high-calorie diet contributes to weight gain. When it comes to sugar, research has shown that drinking sugary drinks is linked to Type 2 diabetes.

To help prevent diabetes, the ADA recommends you stop drinking:

  • Energy drinks
  • Fruit drinks
  • Fruit punch
  • Regular soda
  • Sports drinks
  • Sweet tea

Here’s why:

  • One serving of a sugary drink can raise blood glucose and contain several hundred calories.
  • One 12-ounce can of regular soda has about 150 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrate. That’s the same amount of carbohydrate in 10 teaspoons of sugar.
  • One cup of fruit punch has at least 100 calories and 30 grams of carbohydrate.

Myth: Diabetes is not that serious of a disease.

Fact: Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Having diabetes nearly doubles your chance of having a heart attack. The good news is that when you effectively manage your diabetes, you reduce your risk for complications.

Know More

Read more myths and facts about diabetes.

Explore our diabetes care and meet Mary Beth and Melissa, our diabetes educators.