HHS Launches Diabetes Prevention Campaign to Reach High Risk Groups
Washington, DC Today HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and the
National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) launched the first national
multicultural diabetes prevention campaign, Small Steps. Big Rewards.
Prevent type 2 Diabetes, to take action against the growing diabetes
"We need to act urgently to confront the epidemic of type
2 diabetes that is threatening Americans, especially minority populations,"
said Secretary Thompson. "There are effective steps that people
can take for themselves to hold off the progression of type 2 diabetes.
We need to reach Americans with the words and pictures that they
understand to help them promote and protect their good health."
In response to the diabetes epidemic, HHS' NDEP is taking the lead
on delivering the type 2 diabetes prevention message to high risk
audiences through its campaign targeted to multicultural and older
adult audiences. The campaign focuses on empowering people at high
risk to make modest lifestyle changes that can prevent or delay
the onset of type 2 diabetes. Campaign materials include motivational
tip sheets for consumers as well as print and radio public service
ads. Each set of materials is specifically tailored for one of the
high risk groups:
- African Americans;
- Hispanic and Latino Americans;
- American Indians and Alaska Natives;
- Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; and,
- Adults aged 60 and older.
"Diabetes is a growing epidemic in our communities, especially
for these high risk groups," said Dr. James R. Gavin III, chair
of the National Diabetes Education Program and president of Morehouse
School of Medicine. "If we are going to make a difference,
we need to reach people where they live, work, and play, so we are
partnering with community groups. We have consumer-friendly materials
with practical advice in several languages. This campaign provides
the tools to help those hardest hit by this growing epidemic to
prevent the disease and its serious, deadly complications."
The rapid increase in people who are at risk for diabetes, and
people with diabetes, is closely tracking the nation's escalating
obesity rates. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) released a study that showed that deaths due to obesity will
soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death. Overweight
and obesity are key risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.
The campaign was launched during National Minority Health Month
at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. to highlight community-based
physical activity and nutrition education programs. To demonstrate
how people at risk can prevent diabetes, the NDEP has formed the
Small Steps Big Rewards Team to Prevent Diabetes. The team is comprised
of people from across the U.S. representing each of the high-risk
populations. Team members are involved in local programs helping
people at risk take small steps to prevent type 2 diabetes and will
host launch events in their communities to kick off the campaign.
The Small Steps Big Rewards Team to Prevent Diabetes members are
Jose Cortez of Arizona; Carmencita Domingo of California; Christie
Byars of Oklahoma; Rev. Sam Kitching of Florida; and Frenchy Risco
"People need to know if they have pre-diabetes or are at
risk for developing type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Allen M. Spiegel,
director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and
Kidney Diseases. "Talk to your health care provider about your
risk. By taking small steps today, you can achieve a big reward
delaying or preventing type 2 diabetes."
According to the National Diabetes Education Program, everyone
over age 45 should consult with his or her health care provider
about testing for pre-diabetes or diabetes. Those over 45 and overweight
are strongly recommended for testing. Those who are younger than
45, overweight, and who have one or more of the other risk factors
could be at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and should
also consult their health care provider about testing. Risk factors
for diabetes include:
- Age: risk increases with age
- Overweight: BMI (body mass index) 25 or higher (23 or higher
if Asian American, 26 or higher if Pacific Islander)
- Blood pressure: 140/90 mm/Hg or higher
- Cholesterol: Abnormal lipid levels HDL cholesterol less
than 40mg/dL for men and less than 50 mg/dL for women; triglyceride
level 250 mg/dL or higher
- Family history of diabetes: having a parent, brother, or
sister with diabetes
- Ethnicity: African American, American Indian, Asian American,
Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino heritage
- History of gestational diabetes: or giving birth to a baby
weighing more than 9 pounds
- Inactive lifestyle: exercise fewer than three times a week
For more information about the campaign, including tip sheets,
tools to help people lose weight and track their progress, and more
information about pre-diabetes, visit the NDEP website at www.ndep.nih.gov.
To order free copies of the materials, call 1-800-438-5383.
HHS' National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is jointly sponsored
by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Diabetes
and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. The program involves more than 200 public and private
sector partners who work at the national, state, and local level.