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Type 1 diabetes can't be prevented. However, a healthy lifestyle can help prevent type 2 diabetes. Small changes can lead to better health.

  • Regular exercise: Aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. Take a brisk daily walk, ride your bike or swim laps. Workouts can be broken up into smaller sessions spread throughout the day.

  • Healthy eating: Choose foods low in fat and calories. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains and watch your portions.

  • Lose excess weight: A 5-7 percent loss of body weight (about 10-14 pounds for a person weighing 200 pounds), can reduce the risk of diabetes for someone who is overweight.

  • Get screened for diabetes: The American Diabetes Association recommends that testing to detect pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes be considered in adults without symptoms who are overweight and have one or more of the additional risk factors for diabetes listed below. In those without these risk factors, testing should begin at age 45.

Kids: Obesity & Diabetes

Risk factors include:

  • Being overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • Family history: A parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.
  • Race: If you are African-American, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian-American.
  • Gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds or been diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant
  • High blood pressure—140/90 mmHg or above



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