1a. Myth: If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop type 2 diabetes.
1b. Fact: Being overweight is a risk factor for developing this disease, but other risk factors such as family history, ethnicity and age also play a role. Unfortunately, too many people disregard the other risk factors for diabetes and think that weight is the only risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Most overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes, and many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or only moderately overweight.
2a. Myth: Eating too many sweets causes diabetes.
2b. Fact: No, eating too much sugar will not cause diabetes. However, if you're rewarding yourself with Twinkies every day and not exercising, chances are you'll gain weight, which puts you at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Genetics also play a role. If diabetes runs in your family, eating healthy and exercising regularly is highly recommended.
3a. Myth: Diabetics can't have any sweets or chocolate.
3b. Fact: Like the rest of us, people with diabetes are allowed to eat sweets, as long as it's in moderation and combined with exercise.
4a. Myth: Most people know when they have diabetes.
4b. Fact: Of the 29.1 million Americans who have diabetes, according to the ADA, nearly 8.1 million do not know they have it. Symptoms of diabetes include extreme fatigue, increased appetite, unexplained weight loss, blurry vision, frequent urination and nausea.
5a. Myth: Only older people get diabetes.
5b. Fact: These days more and more children 18 and under are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.85 million women between the ages of 18 and 44 have diabetes. Of that figure nearly 500,000 are undiagnosed.
Source: American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Myths.