Health and Family Services Cabinet
DPH Works to Raise Awareness About Diabetes in Minority Communities
Type 2 Diabetes Affecting Adults, Youth
The epidemic of type 2 diabetes within minority communities has profound consequences for the quality of life of individuals of any age and their families.
African-Americans, American Indians, Alaska natives, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders and Hispanics are at high risk for type 2 diabetes and are disproportionately affected by the disease.
“If we do not turn back this epidemic, minority communities will suffer with widespread disability and premature death. The nation will need to spend billions more for diabetes care,” said William D. Hacker, M.D., commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “Kentuckians need to recognize the dangers of the disease and practice preventive measures. This is the most effective means we have in curbing rates of diabetes.”
According to the Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program and the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) this negative trend can be reversed by making better choices about the kinds of food we eat, the amount of exercise we get and the way we live our lives.
“Diabetes prevention is proven, possible and powerful,” said Linda Leber, education coordinator for the Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program. “Big rewards can be achieved by losing 5 to 7 percent of body weight through healthy eating and getting 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week.”
According to DPH, losing a small amount of weight can help those who are at-risk prevent or delay the onset of this devastating disease. Controlling diabetes can slow or halt the loss of sight, limbs and life.
NDEP provides free materials that can help get you started in preventing or controlling diabetes. NDEP’s Small Steps. Big Rewards. Prevent type 2 Diabetes public education campaign can help increase diabetes prevention awareness. The NDEP materials offer ideas for adhering to a healthy eating plan and ideas for staying active with regular physical activity.
For those already diagnosed with diabetes, the NDEP’s “Control Your Diabetes For Life” materials teach diabetics to know their ABC’s. A is for the A1C test for blood glucose (blood sugar), B for blood pressure, and C for cholesterol.
People should know what these numbers are, what they should be, and how to work with a health care team to reach goals.
Other risk factors associated with the development of type 2 diabetes include family history, pre-diabetes, overweight/obesity, lack of physical activity, being 45 and older, history of gestational diabetes or having a baby that weighs more than 9 pounds at birth, high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, polycystic ovarian syndrome and history of vascular disease.
To order the free NDEP materials go to www.ndep.nih.gov or call (800) 438-5383. For more information about diabetes, visit the Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program Web site at www.chfs.ky.gov/dph/ach/diabetes.