The American Diabetes Association’s Alert Day, which is held every fourth Tuesday in March, is a one-day, “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This year, on March 25, the School of Health Professions’ Community Committee is planning to encourage all students, faculty and staff of NYIT to participate and take the Diabetes Risk Test and to share the test with everyone they care about - friends, family members and colleagues.
The Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider. Participants will also be invited to attend a Diabetes Prevention Workshop on April 3rd presented by Dr. Lorraine Mongiello, a dietitian, certified diabetes educator and Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences.
Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States, and a quarter of them—seven million—do not even know they have it. An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes seven to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.
This event also provides the opportunity to use the data collected to assess the health status of the NYIT community as a whole and determine the characteristics of those groups at risk for diabetes and other chronic disease. This study will be a first step in the development of health promotion programs and policies suitable for colleges and universities.
As a school of health professions we feel it is important to make a strong commitment to primary prevention of type 2 diabetes by increasing awareness of prediabetes and actively engaging individuals in preventative behaviors like weight loss, physical activity and healthful eating. This event is also an ideal learning opportunity for our students as it allows them to participate in a nation-wide public health intervention. Eighty students from the School of Health Professions have volunteered to administer the risk test at tables set up throughout the Old Westbury Campus. Alert Day is a singular moment in time in which we can raise awareness and prompt action among the NYIT community – particularly those at risk.
Dr. Lorraine Mongiello