By: Sammy Koterwas, RD, LDN and Paige Whitmire, RD, LDN

Did you know by the time you are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes you have already lost half of the cells responsible for controlling blood sugar?  The combination of a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition leads to the gradual reduction of these beta cells and their response to insulin. When this happens, blood sugar remains high after eating, which can cause damage to organ systems throughout the body.

Do you know if you are at risk for Type 2 Diabetes? While there are genetic risk factors you can’t change, improving your daily nutrition and fitness efforts can significantly decrease your risk of developing diabetes. Take our quiz to know your risk!

1. I get 10,000 steps daily.
    0 – Always    1 – Sometimes     2 – Rarely

FACT: “Those who built up to 10,000 steps a day showed a threefold improvement in their insulin sensitivity after five years, when compared to participants who only increased their daily steps to 3,000.” (Mouchawar, 2011)

2. I exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 or more days per week.
    0 – Always    1 – Sometimes     2 – Rarely

FACT: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity five or more days of the week to control blood glucose and prevent diabetes.

3. I eat high fiber foods such as whole grains, fresh produce, beans, nuts and seeds every day.
    0 – Always    1 – Sometimes     2 – Rarely

FACT: The American Diabetes Association recommends eating 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day to help stabilize blood glucose levels and prevent diabetes.

4. I choose water over sugar sweetened beverages.
    0 – Always    1 – Sometimes     2 – Rarely

FACT: “In the Nurses’ Health Study II, individuals who drank one or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day had an 83% higher risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to those who drank less than one sugar-sweetened beverage per month.” (Schulze, 2004)

5. I do not add salt to my food before or after cooking.
    0 – Always    1 – Sometimes     2 – Rarely

FACT: Sodium intake is directly associated with high blood pressure. A study performed by the American Diabetes Association found that elevated systolic blood pressure is associated with future onset of type 2 diabetes.


A total of 5-10 points means you should improve your health habits to avoid increasing your risk for developing diabetes. There is no cure for diabetes, we can only decrease our risk through lifestyle changes.

To learn more about how to reduce your risk, attend our Diabetes Prevention presentation on Wednesday, July 12th at 6:30pm at One on One. If you live outside of Centre County, join us on Facebook Live!



  1. Mouchawar J, Orenstein B. British Medical Journal, news release, Jan. 13, 2011.
  2. Schulze MB, Manson JE, Ludwig DS, et al. Sugar-sweetened beverages, weight gain, and incidence of type 2 diabetes in young and middle-aged women. JAMA. 2004; 292:927-34.