In two minutes, you can do a lot. Watch a few commercials, scroll through your Instagram feed, or lose your way somewhere on the Internet. Alternately, you can do something really good for you. That’s the hook of the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA)’s Take 2 Minutes initiative, which runs throughout November—diabetes awareness month.
With a quick online questionnaire (that really does only take a couple moments), the CDA is hoping to encourage people to take a little time out of their day to do something that could have long-lasting benefits. “I’m encouraging people to use this tool, share it with their friends and family, so they are aware of their diabetes and prediabetes risk,” says Harmeet Mundra, a dietitian with Fraser Health and a certified diabetes educator. With 10 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes and 20 more people diagnosed every hour, it’s a disease that likely affects most people personally.
But while most may know someone with diabetes, few understand the causes related to it. Mundra clarifies that there are a multitude of factors, including poor diet, lack of exercise, family history, and stress. Most surprising, Mundra says, is the recent increase of diabetes in young people. “We’re used to seeing it in older people, but it’s coming more and more into the younger populations,” she says. For this increase, Mundra says it’s difficult to pinpoint just one reason: “life on the go, no time to eat or exercise—incorporating new strategies into people’s lives would make a big difference.”
Part of that approach is the Take 2 Minutes test, which asks questions that address a multitude of factors. Mundra relates how one woman found the online test to be particularly eye opening: “Her risk was low, but when she adds up her family history, her parents, and sisters, because of her genetics her risk was high,” says Mundra. “It was a surprise for her.”
The questionnaire’s results can then be the catalyst for at-risk individuals to see their doctor and get more informed. So take a couple minutes and open a tab for your health.