Despite being incredibly common—over 25 million children and adults in the United States suffer from it—diabetes is a condition that is widely misunderstood and stigmatized. Yet, just as with most aspects of your health, the more you know, the better prepared you can be to reduce your risks of developing diabetes. To start you off on the right path toward being proactive, we’re busting three big myths you might have heard in the past.
Myth #1: It’s mostly overweight people who get diabetes.
Busted: There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 Diabetes (also known as juvenile diabetes) is typically diagnosed in young children and has no correlation with body fat. While there is a correlation between body fat and Type 2 Diabetes, correlation does not yield causation. For instance, not all people with Type 2 are overweight and not all overweight people have Type 2 Diabetes.
Myth #2: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.
Busted: Like we mentioned above, being overweight is a contributing factor to developing Type 2 Diabetes. However, there are plenty of ways to gain weight and not eat much sugar. That doesn’t mean you should have all the sugar you want, though. Studies have linked sugary drink consumption with diabetes thanks to their ability to provide several hundred calories and high counts of sugar in just one serving.
Myth #3: People with diabetes can’t have sweets.
Busted: Just like everyone else, people with diabetes can have sweets in moderation when combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan. While it should make you more mindful of your sugar intake, a diabetes diagnosis is not a lifelong ban on sweets.
What other myths about diabetes do you often hear perpetuated? Were you surprised to learn any of the above weren’t true? Share your thoughts in the comments below.