Millions of Hispanics at Increased Risk for Type 2 Diabetes|
Experts meet in Phoenix to highlight diabetes prevention research and culturally-appropriate outreach efforts
Phoenix, AZ About 40 percent of U.S. adults ages 40 to 74 millions
of whom are Hispanic or Latino currently have pre-diabetes, a
condition that raises a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes,
heart disease, and stroke. To respond to this rapidly growing problem,
experts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National
Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and community-based organizations
from around the country met today at the National Council of La
Raza's (NCLR) annual conference to discuss national and local efforts
to stem the diabetes epidemic in the Hispanic community.
"Every minute of every day, another American develops type
2 diabetes," said Dr. Saul Malozowski, Senior Advisor for Clinical
Trials and Diabetes Translation at the National Institute of Diabetes
and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of
Health. "Without intervention, one in three children born in
the year 2000 will develop diabetes in his or her lifetime. For
some of us, the risk is even higher. If that child is Hispanic and
female, she has a one in two chance of developing diabetes in her
lifetime. We need to get the word out that type 2 diabetes prevention
is proven, possible, and powerful."
While diabetes is a growing epidemic for Hispanics, a recent landmark
study found that type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented in
people at risk for the disease.
The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a joint effort
of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, developed a bilingual diabetes prevention
campaign in response to the results of the Diabetes Prevention Program
(DPP) clinical trial: "Prevengamos la diabetes tipo 2. Paso
a Paso" (Let's Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: Step by Step).
The campaign highlights the study's findings that by losing a small
amount of weight, limiting fat and caloric intake, and exercising
30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, participants dramatically reduced
their risk for diabetes by more than half. More than 500 Hispanics
participated in the DPP.
"With 'Paso a Paso,' we are asking Hispanics to find out if
they are at risk for diabetes, and we're showing them how to take
action to prevent it," said Yanira Cruz, the chair of the NDEP's
Hispanic/Latino Work Group, and a speaker at today's meeting. "The
key is modest weight loss and regular physical activity. I want
to encourage people to take this message of good health to their
families and their communities, so we can put an end to the diabetes
José Cortez took this message to his family and community
after learning about the success of diabetes prevention efforts
by other Latinos. Cortez, who works for Chicanos Por La Causa, a
statewide community development corporation in Phoenix, now hikes
regularly with his family, and even coordinates an annual hike for
his organization. Cortez shared his successes both personally and
professionally to spread the message of diabetes prevention today
at the NCLR workshop.
"Chicanos Por La Causa creates opportunities for leaders in
the community," said Cortez. "But strong leaders need
to be healthy. For me, that means hiking regularly, but for others
that may mean taking a walk during lunch or substituting fruits
and vegetables for less healthy foods. But taking the first step
is always the most important."
To help Hispanics take their first step, the NDEP is offering a
new music CD free of charge to help Hispanics get more physical
activity to prevent type 2 diabetes. Performed by a diverse group
of Hispanic recording artists, MOVIMIENTO, Por Su Vida (Movement,
For Your Life) is a collection of six original songs with a Latin
dance beat and lyrics that celebrate life in an effort to promote
physical activity as a way to stay healthy and help prevent diabetes.
The CD's appeal transcends age and language boundaries combining
cross-cultural lyrics with key messages and words repeated in Spanish
and English. Strong, positive health messages are promoted via energetic,
sizzling songs that make you want to get up and move. The CD comes
with an insert that includes tips on how to incorporate the music
into day-to-day activities as well as into special events such as
community cultural gatherings, health promotion programs or even
"Everything counts taking the stairs, walking the dog, dancing
to music, mowing the lawn small changes can be easily incorporated,"
said Cruz. "Physical activity just needs to occur every day.
Make it fun and take it step by step!"
The campaign also includes:
- National radio public service messages that will air on Spanish-language
radio stations across the country
- Print public service announcements that encourage Hispanics
to prevent diabetes
- A recipe and meal planner booklet featuring healthier twists
on traditional Latino recipes
- New education materials on diabetes prevention
The Department of Health and Human Service's NDEP is a federally
funded program co-sponsored by the National Institutes of Health
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is a leading
source for information about diabetes care and prevention. NDEP
has more than 200 partner organizations that form a network to reach
the health care community and those affected by diabetes at the
federal, state, and local levels.
For more information or to obtain a free copy of MOVIMIENTO
or any of the campaign materials, call 1-800-438-5383 (bilingual
information specialists are available), or visit the NDEP website