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Queens Chronicle

Taking responsibility for your health: Ask for yourself. Do it for your family

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Posted: Friday, July 25, 2014 1:00 am | Updated: 4:35 am, Tue Aug 5, 2014.

(BPT) - Every day you sit around the dinner table with your loved ones and ask about their lives−“How was your day? What’s new at work? Do you have any plans for this weekend?” But how often do you ask the truly important questions, like−“Are you taking care of your health?”

Talking to family members about their health can be a challenge. But the truth is that a simple conversation could help encourage your loved ones to take responsibility for their health.

“Not long ago, I learned that certain factors−like being African American, having a family history of diabetes, or being over the age of 45−can put you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” says Justine Simmons. “All of these factors apply to my husband, Rev Run, and to me, so when I found out we could be at risk−I knew I had to speak up.”

Justine Simmons and Rev Run decided to take responsibility for their health and be screened for diabetes by their doctors. Although they do not have the disease, they found out that they are among millions of Americans who are at risk of the disease. Knowing this, Justine and Rev Run couldn’t just stand back and do nothing. So, they decided to make healthy lifestyle changes as a family.

“Now, we walk around the park in our neighborhood everyday and make healthy dinner choices. We also talk with our kids about their risks of diabetes,” says Justine. “If we do nothing, our family’s history could impact our family’s future. And our children are too important to us for that.”

Justine Simmons is urging you−if you think you or a loved one might be at risk of diabetes, take action today. To help you, Justine and Rev Run teamed up with Novo Nordisk on Ask.Screen.Know.−a national education program that challenges Americans aged 45 or older to find out about type 2 diabetes risk factors−to provide you with the tools and resources to talk to your family and your doctor. Visit AskScreenKnow.com, take the Diabetes Risk Factor Assessment today, and ask your loved ones to do the same. Remember, it’s important for your family to know that they don’t have to do it alone. Here are some of Justine’s favorite tips to help keep your conversation fun and interesting, and make sure you all get the most out of it:

* Make it healthy−and delicious!

Try cooking some new, healthy dishes to enjoy while you talk. Not only will it show your family that eating healthy foods can be delicious, but it’s also a great way to bring up the conversation about healthy living

* Stay on track

If your family is like Justine’s, conversations can change every 5 minutes at the dinner table. Keep everyone on track by gently reminding them why you are there. Share stories or memories about family and health that lead back to the conversation

* Take steps together

There’s no better time than the present, so ask your family to pull out their smart phones and take the Diabetes Risk Factor Assessment while you’re together. After you talk, it’s also a great idea to ask everyone to join you for a walk. This shows how you can all support each other in living healthy lifestyles−just like the Simmons family does

Just remember, if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be having the conversation, and its okay to explain that to your family. You are all in this together and when it comes to health, a quick conversation now could help you and your family live a healthy lifestyle together for generations to come.

For more tips and information on how to discuss diabetes with your family, download the Dinnertime Conversation Guide today at AskScreenKnow.com.

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