(WGHP) — March 22nd is “American Diabetes Association Alert” Day.

This day is intended to raise awareness about diabetes, which is becoming an epidemic in America. The CDC says that over 37 million Americans have diabetes, which is about one in 10 people.

Another 96 million Americans have “pre-diabetes” which means they’re at risk of developing the disease.

One of the fastest-growing groups for new Type 2 Diabetes cases is children ages 10-19 years old, regardless of race or ethnicity.

There are ways to shield your family from the threat of Type 2 Diabetes.

Get active

Physical activity lowers the risk of Type 2 Diabetes because it helps the body use insulin. Moving more can also help control blood pressure and boost your mental health.

So take the family out for a walk, or play catch or take the dog to the park. Kids need at least an hour of physical activity a day.

Manage weight

Being overweight can impact insulin in your body, which puts you at risk for Type 2 Diabetes.

Losing weight can help reduce the associated risks.

Cut back on sugar and focus on healthy snacking, like vegetables, grains and fruits. This can help control weight.

Mealtime makeover

Have meals together as often as you can, and try to eat them at the dinner table. Getting together and enjoying a meal together can encourage better eating habits. Don’t force children to “clean their plates,” overeating can have negative impacts on their health going forward.

Parents can do a lot to help prevent Type 2 Diabetes in their families. Creating new habits is easier when everyone in the family is involved, and it will bring you closer in the process.