One of our “Big 4” focuses this month is on Diabetes. As you may already know, our other three targets are: Obesity, Hypertension and Heart Disease, and each of the four targets increases the risk of developing and/or controlling the other three targets.
Few diseases take a greater toll on the health of racial and ethnic minorities than diabetes. Almost 15 percent (1 out of every 15) African Americans over 20 years of age have diabetes, and for women over 55, the rate is an alarming 25 percent (%). Among Hispanics, 10 percent have diabetes.
Just as disturbing is the fact that African Americans with diabetes are more likely to develop complications, have more disabilities, and die from their disease than whites. Diabetes complications include blindness, kidney disease, amputations, heart disease and stroke, and nerve damage.
A Special Point: More than 80% (8 out of every 10) adults with diabetes are overweight or obese. Therefore, weight control is closely related to preventing and controlling diabetes.
Some of the risk factors for diabetes – age, race and family history — are beyond our control. But others, especially weight and diet, are within our ability to control, and there is no better time than now – National Diabetes Month – to take the steps needed to control diabetes.
Whether the underlying factors are mostly related to culture, attitudes, conditioning, or all three, the choices often made when it comes to eating and exercising are often poor ones, and there’s no better evidence of that than the fact that 80 % (4 out of every 5) African American women are overweight or obese, and about 50% (1 out of every 2) Hispanic and Native American women are also overweight or obese.
Read more about healthy lifestyle choices we can all make, no matter what our economic level may be, to help us lose weight and decrease our risk of diabetes.
Remember the Health Power motto: Knowledge + Action = Power! ©