Diabetes: The basics

At this time, researchers do not yet know how to prevent type 1 diabetes. However, type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented. If you have risk factors for type 2 diabetes, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Better food choices, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight will help.

Does eating too much sugar cause diabetes?

Not by itself. Since being overweight is a risk factor for diabetes, overeating (of any food) can make you gain weight and put you at risk for diabetes.

My health care provider says that I have prediabetes. Does this mean I will get diabetes?

Prediabetes means your blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. Although you do have a higher chance of getting diagnosed with diabetes, you can prevent progression by eating well, maintaining or achieving a healthy weight, and exercising most days of the week. Not everyone who has prediabetes will progress to diabetes, but think of this as a reason to embrace some changes in your life soon.

What is a healthy weight?

Your best weight range is determined on the basis of your body mass index (BMI), a number calculated on the basis of your height and weight. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. Check your BMI with our BMI calculator. Keep in mind that this is a guide and is only one factor to consider in your personal risk of developing diabetes. Different ethnic groups may have different BMI "cut-off" points at which their risk of diabetes is increased. Check with your primary health care provider to find out if your weight puts you at risk of type 2 diabetes.