diabetes awareness and action


Get involved and educate yourself on diabetes prevention, and volunteer with agencies and service organizations to help those living with diabetes.

Intro & Diagnosis

Road map for diabetes progression.
  • The numbers are staggering—an estimated 1 out of 3 adults live with prediabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes affects about 95% of the people living with diabetes and has a lifestyle link.
  • Type 1 diabetes is NOT linked to lifestyle and cannot be prevented; people with type 1 diabetes have to use insulin every day to live.
  • Man swimming in a pool.
  • One of the most problematic facts about prediabetes is that most people don't even know they have it.
  • Prediabetes can be a silent disease.
  • Prediabetes has one or more of the following risk factors:
    • Overweight
    • 45 years of age or older
    • A parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
    • Physically active less than three times a week
    • If a woman, a history of gestational diabetes or polycystic ovary disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and Asian ethnic/race groups have higher risk

    Programs & Support

    Woman gesturing to a group, presumably speaking.
  • Group based diabetes prevention programs are available in-person and online.
  • The CDC has been facilitating the implementation of group-based Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPP), using leaders who have been through DPP life coach training.
  • Designed for people at high risk of developing diabetes like those with prediabetes or women who have a past history of gestational diabetes, the DPP meets approximately 16 times over the first 6 months and then once a month for the next 6 months.
  • Online programs like Zoom are available and convenient options for people who find it difficult to attend in person programs or do not have access to diabetes prevention programs in their regions.
  • The program is also offered in several areas across the U.P. Dial 2-1-1 or log onto www.diabetesinmichigan.org to find where diabetes prevention programs are offered in the Upper Peninsula.
  • Chips spilling from a bag onto a table.
  • Coping with triggers:
  • External Triggers: For many people, seeing food, smelling it or remembering that a particular food is in the house can trigger them to eat. A little or a lot of extra food here and there can lead to weight gain – 100 extra calories a day may yield 10 pounds of weight gain in a year.
  • Fun Time Triggers: Being out with other people –eating out, socializing or at a party is usually associated with taking in more calories. People will often eat more and/or drink more when they are with other people.
  • Emotional Triggers: Some of us deal with negative emotions through eating, especially while alone. Finding other ways to more effectively prevent or address negative emotions, like going for a walk or phoning a friend is important.
  • Despite these triggers, sometimes you really are hungry and just need to eat!
  • Woman at a desk with her hands clasped near her head.
  • Managing stress:
  • Feelings of stress release the hormone cortisol which helps raise the blood sugar and facilitates other changes in the body to prepare you for ‘fight or flight.’
  • If you constantly feel under stress, cortisol can work to push you toward developing type 2 diabetes.
  • The other way that stress impacts type 2 diabetes development is through the unhealthy behaviors that often occur when a person feels ‘stressed out’.
  • Some of the ways to reduce or manage stress that are addressed in the DPP include:
    • Asking for help from others
    • Learning to say no
    • Getting enough sleep
    • Knowing yourself – what are the things that cause you stress?
    • Making time for fun
    • Having a to-do list
    • Setting small, doable goals
    • Getting active
    • Taking a break from whatever is stressing you out
    Workout partners lifting weights.
  • Getting support:
  • Losing weight and making time for physical activity most days of the week is not always easy.
  • Having others who support a person’s behavior change can be instrumental in his or her success.
  • One way to gain support for behavior changes is to tell others how they can support you.
  • Grandmother with grandchildren in the woods.
  • Being active (it is critical for type 2 diabetes prevention!):
  • It helps with insulin resistance – being active actually helps your body use your insulin more effectively, so that you can get the sugar that is floating around your blood stream into your cells for energy!!
  • It helps maintain muscle mass.
  • It supports weight loss and weight maintenance.
  • Bowl of fruit.
  • Eating well to manage your weight:
  • Keep healthy ready to eat foods (like yogurt, low fat cheese and vegetables) in the refrigerator at eye level and a bowl of fruit on the table.
  • Keep other ready to eat foods like crackers and cereal in opaque containers in the cupboard.
  • Leave trigger foods at the store or buy them in small packages.
  • Plan, plan, plan: shop with a grocery list, pack foods when you travel and plan meals ahead of time whether eating out or at home.
  • Know how much you are eating – weigh, measure and track your food; most people underestimate how much they are eating!
    • MyFitnessPal is one popular app that people use to track their food.


    Why Prevention?

    Young woman and old man looking at a laptop.
  • The development of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes happens when a person has one or more of these risk factors:
    • Overweight
    • 45 years of age or older
    • A parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
    • Physically active less than three times a week
    • If a woman, a history of gestational diabetes or polycystic ovary disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and Asian ethnic/race groups have higher risk
    Person holding excess belly fat.
  • Attention to and detection of prediabetes is important.
  • Focusing on health takes time and change. Americans today spend more time being busy than being active.
  • Take time to be physically active, shop for healthy foods, read labels, and cook.
  • Map of the upper Midwest with DAD logo denoting headquarters location.
  • It is critical for the well-being of Michiganders.
  • A diabetes prevention weight loss program (DPP) assists your efforts to lose weight and keep it off through healthy eating and physical activity.
  • Diabetes and prediabetes is always serious and it demands your attention immediately!
  • Ignoring diabetes and prediabetes can lead to serious short & long term complications.
  • Man on a bike resting atop a mountain.
  • Research shows that the early detection of prediabetes and making lifestyle changes can prevent or delay getting type 2 diabetes.
  • Time to exercise does not mean at a gym, it can be mountain biking, hiking, walking, swimming, riding bikes with the kids or kicking the soccer ball around with family and friends.
  • Mother, father, and baby sitting in snow.
  • Lifestyle and wellness does not take time away from family and friends.
  • Eating together encourages family togetherness, helps kids do better in school, and helps prevent weight problems.
  • It will add time in the long run and make it more quality time too.
  • Make health a family choice, it’s a lifestyle, not a diet!

  • Prevention Shows Promise

    Stack of documents.
  • What do people who lose weight and keep it off do?
  • The National Weight Control Registry has been following more than 10,000 people who have successfully lost large amount of weight and have kept it off for long periods of time.
  • The average registry participant has lost about 66 pounds and kept if off for 5.5 years. Here are a few of the things that they have in common:
    • 55% of the participants needed help (like joining a program) to lose their weight
    • 98% changed their food intake
    • 94% got more active (walking was the most common type of physical activity)
    • 78% eat breakfast everyday
    • 75% weigh themselves at least once a week
    • 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV each week
    • 90% exercise every day, about 1 hour
    Two women learning at a shared desk.
  • What are some of the things that need to happen to conquer type 2 diabetes?
    • All adults over the age of 45 should know what their fasting glucose level is.
    • Adults under the age of 45 who are overweight or obese and have at least 1 other diabetes risk factor should know their fasting glucose level.
    • People with prediabetes should receive treatment to help them prevent type 2 diabetes.
    • Worksites, schools, churches and other community organizations need to support healthful living.
    • We need policies that support healthy families and communities (such as accessible grocery stores, affordable healthful foods like fruits and vegetables and safe, walkable and bikeable communities)
    • We can all play a role – it takes a widespread Yooper Commitment to prevent type 2 diabetes!

    Care more...



    Testimonial screenshot from Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan.

    “We appreciate the opportunity our membership has had over the past year to work with the Lions Club on diabetes awareness, education, self-management and prevention through a Lions Club International Foundation grant.”