The contributions of Hispanic and Latino people have been so important to the success of our nation. Hispanic Heritage Month is a chance for National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) to celebrate your community, strength, and resiliency during troubling times. While the accomplishments and strengths of Hispanic and Latino communities are not limited to one month a year, this is a chance to spotlight nuestra gente.
This has been a tough year and a half, but through the hard times, nuestra gente has shown resiliency, strength, and hope. Through the COVID-19 public health emergency, we have learned the importance of personal health and community support in making healthy choices. Family and community are stronger when each individual takes care of themselves and their health. We’re in this together to live healthier all year long, and National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) is here to help.
Many people struggle to manage their health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 88 million US adults have a condition called prediabetes, meaning they have higher blood sugar levels than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. But did you know that for Hispanic or Latino adults, the number of diagnoses is higher than for other groups? For Hispanic or Latino adults, 35% have prediabetes, and 50% are expected to develop type 2 diabetes, which is 10% higher than average.
Having good health impacts all you do – and those around you. Type 2 diabetes can put limits on family and community activities and the time you get to spend together. Our theme for this Hispanic Heritage Month is nuestra gente, recognizing the importance your loved ones have in your life and on your health. You’ve made sacrifices for your family and community—now it’s time to take care of yourself so you can keep taking care of those you love. Let CDC-led National DPP help you to prevent type 2 diabetes so you can be around longer for those you love.
We know it can be hard to take time for your own health – it might even feel selfish – but when it seems like it’s not worth the effort, remember that building a healthier future for yourself sets an example for coming generations. This helps ensure that type 2 diabetes is not a part of your family legacy, getting in the way of the wonderful traditions you enjoy most. You can learn about your risk for prediabetes by taking the CDC’s Prediabetes Risk Test.
CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) is here to help adults with prediabetes learn to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. We offer the National DPP lifestyle change program, which focuses on eating healthier foods, getting more physical activity, and managing stress to lower the risk for type 2 diabetes and for better health overall.
The lifestyle change program is built around group sessions because you don’t have to take this journey alone. With the support of your peers and trained Lifestyle Coaches, you’ll find the habits that work for you and your family and still allow you to enjoy beloved foods and traditions.
Lifestyle Coach Elvia Alcala says the program is designed to help you make small yet lasting changes. “As Hispanics, we are used to eating chicken, rice, beans, fries, and tortillas, and in many cases we don’t include vegetables, salads, and fruits. That’s why one of our goals with the program is to help participants see that if they make changes in what they eat, their health will improve and they will live better. Small changes can make a big difference.”
With coaches like Elvia, CDC-led National DPP’s program is here to help you get healthier. The tips you learn will not only improve your health but can also be an opportunity for your whole family to get healthier together. Involving those you love will give you the motivation to get going, knowing that you’re doing this for your people and with your people.
So what’s left to stop you? Don’t let type 2 diabetes define your future when you have so many worthwhile things to live for. Preventing health problems is important to ensure that you can keep on accomplishing your goals and leaving an even greater legacy for the future.
Summertime and the livin' is easy; with relaxed routines and days filled with fun outdoor activities, vacations, and extra time with friends and family. As the end of summer approaches and families return to more work and school commitments, it’s time to return to healthy routines.
Along with planning carpools and scheduling meetings and after school activities, think about how you’ll build in time for your health. How can you keep the fresh fruit and veggies you enjoyed over the summer part of fall and winter menus? Can you walk while your children or grandchildren participate in sports or band practice? Take this opportunity to plan ahead and set your personal goals to establish some healthy habits before the fall season rolls around.
Creating healthy habits and adding them into your day-to-day life can make a huge positive impact on your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC), 88 million US adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes, a condition where a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. If you have prediabetes, you can reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes by adopting healthy habits into your daily routine, such as eating meals with more fruits and vegetables, getting regular physical activity, and sleeping enough each night.
National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) can help you learn more about how to stick to these healthy habits and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In the program, participants work with a trained Lifestyle Coach and other participants to encourage each other along the way.
Making small adjustments in your daily routine can lead to a healthier lifestyle. Here are some helpful tips to get you started as fall approaches and schedules get busier:
Take some time before the summer ends to understand your risk for type 2 diabetes and learn how you can prevent or delay it by taking steps to change your lifestyle. Creating healthy habits in your life can ensure you live healthier all year long.
Sun River Health (NY) is one of this year’s Promising Practices Award Recipients for our Increase Access to Care for Ag Workers Program. Sun River Health is being recognized for its ancillary service adaptations since the start of the pandemic. Their transportation team added prevention procedures, improved infection control, and allowed for continued transportation services to those patients in most need.
Watch how they were able to accomplish this on NCFH’s “COVID-19 Safety Measures for Transportation Teams” video here.
From Sun River Health:
Sun River Health is a network of over 40 Health Centers who serve more than 245,000 patients throughout the Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island in New York State. Our Migrant Health Centers serve approximately 9,000 agricultural (Ag) workers across 6 counties each year, providing medical, dental, behavioral, and enabling healthcare services to all, regardless of insurance or ability to pay. Over the decades that we’ve served farmworkers, we have worked hard to build relationships with farmworker community members, partner organizations, growers, and community leaders to work collaboratively to improve access to the much needed healthcare services our Health Centers offer.
Funding for the IAC Network Promising Practices Award is generated from the annual sales of NCFH commemorative artwork. All proceeds from sales go directly to the IAC Network Promising Practices Award and the NCFH Migrant Health Scholarship fund. Learn more about the IAC Promising Practices Award here.
This is part 1 of our series spotlighting this year's recipients of the Bobbi Ryder Migrant Health Champion Award. These individuals are pursuing educational opportunities that will further their work to ensure access to quality healthcare for Agricultural workers and their families. #AgWorkerAccess
Please tell us a little bit more about what you’re studying and how you are going to apply that in your work with Ag Workers?
I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health to acquire more knowledge and to strengthen my skills to continue serving our farmworker population to the best of my abilities. I believe that as a Public Health Professional with a higher level of academic preparation, I will be better equipped to contribute to our farmworker community’s health, safety and better quality of life.
What led you to become an Ag Worker Access Champion?
I strongly identify with the mission and vision of the National Center for Farmworker Health in improving the health of farmworker families by helping them to access quality healthcare. Throughout the years that I spent serving the farmworker population in southern Illinois, I lived and applied the mission and vision of the NCFH. Through the program I lead at Shawnee Health Service, the farm workers we served were able to find the needed support to meet their health care and social needs. We accomplished this by relying on the many resources offered by the NCFH such as trainings, conferences, health education material and updated data and information related to the Migrant and Seasonal population in the U.S. My program finds great support from this wonderful organization.
Why do you care about increasing access to care for Ag workers?
I believe that farm workers are key for the success of the food industry in the United States. Their skills, hard work and sacrifice are not recognized and valued enough. The low pay for their work, the poor living conditions, the high risk working conditions, the language barrier, low literacy among others, are critical barriers to access health care and social services. The Farmworkers and their families are underserved and vulnerable. They need the support from organizations and professionals like us to have a good quality of life and most of all, to live with dignity.
What advice would you give to individuals interested in/considering a career in migrant health?
If a person is passionate about empowering, advocating, serving and fighting for the rights of the underserved and vulnerable, I would say working in migrant health is the right field of work for that person. Working in the front lines, directly serving the farm workers is one of the most rewarding experiences.
How did you hear about the NCFH scholarship program?
I learned about the NCFH Scholarship at one of the Midwest Stream Forum for Agricultural Worker Health that I attended as well as through the NCFH website.
About the Bobbi Ryder Migrant Health Scholarship Award: Since 1984, NCFH has awarded more than $220,000 in scholarships to health center staff and board members to assist them in in pursuing their educational goals and to contribute to the development of the Community Health Center workforce. The award is named in honor NCFH’s former CEO and lifelong Migrant Health Champion, Bobbi Ryder.
These scholarship awards ae made possible through funds raised from sales of NCFH commemorative fine art prints and posters.
June is Men’s Health Month, and we encourage all men to talk to their doctors about their risk for developing type 2 diabetes. When Tom Triscari visited his doctor for a yearly checkup in December 2019, he didn’t know what an A1c level meant. He soon learned it measures your blood sugar levels over the past 3 months, and his were higher than normal, meaning he was at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Tom says his doctor encouraged him for years to make healthy food choices, but it was hard for him to follow through on the suggestion. He recalls frequent visits to a favorite restaurant with his coworkers where “the portions were crazy, and the bread was wonderful.”
Though wonderful, these more processed foods—and others high in sugar, fat, and salt—caused some health problems for Tom, including weight gain, high blood sugar, and prediabetes. At the suggestion of his doctor, he enrolled in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) lifestyle change program like the one offered by CDC-led National DPP.
The lifestyle change program connects participants—many of whom are men like Tom—to a Lifestyle Coach who helps them learn to eat healthier, exercise more, and manage stress to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The goal is to improve participants’ health so they can be there for what matters most in life, like staying strong for work, spending time with family, and enjoying hobbies.
As a former military serviceman, Tom always enjoyed exercise, and the program helped him make physical activity a priority and get back into a healthier routine. With the help of his coach, he set goals to get moving and lose weight.
“Because of the program, I have exercised for at least 30 minutes for more than 350 consecutive days. It’s crazy!” he says, laughing about how competitive he can get with himself and how he doesn’t want to break his streak.
Tom shares that his Lifestyle Coach, Lori, and the positive peer support from other participants really motivated him to reach his personal health and activity goals.
“Having a weekly meeting is both supportive and holds you accountable,” he says. "Having to report back not just to Lori but also to your peers—it’s peer pressure in a positive way.”
For Tom, the benefits of the program were obvious. He was able to lower his blood sugar levels, lose 35 pounds, exercise more regularly, and consistently add more fruits and vegetables to his diet. Tom was even able to fit back into his military uniform after 25 years, which to him was the most meaningful reward of all.
“It’s the complete program that makes the difference,” he says. “It’s not just about exercise. It’s about understanding what’s good to eat and all the stuff that comes up with stress and how to take care of your heart.”
What better way to celebrate Men’s Health Month than to learn how the lifestyle change program, such as National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP), could support your health! Learn how to get active and eat healthier so you can continue to do what you love without worrying about health problems from prediabetes slowing you down. We hold sessions with trained Lifestyle Coaches to help you reach your goals.
In June, we especially celebrate the men in our lives, though we are grateful for them every day. Reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes helps your family and friends enjoy time with you for many years to come.
This past year presented so many different challenges and obstacles that have tested our strength and resiliency. The global pandemic forced us to cope with situations we never even imagined, and a lot of us struggled with our mental health as a result. The good news is that there are tools and resources available that can support the well-being of individuals and communities. Now, more than ever, we need to combat the stigma surrounding mental health concerns. That is why this Mental Health Awareness Month the National Center for Farmworker Health (NCFH) is highlighting Mental Health America’s 2021 Mental Health Month Toolkit, #Tools2Thrive. The #Tools2Thrive Toolkit offers individuals ideas of what they can do throughout their daily lives to prioritize mental health, build resiliency, and continue to cope with the obstacles of COVID-19.
If you found your mental health was impacted this past year, you are not alone. In fact, of the almost half a million individuals that took the anxiety screening at MHAscreening.org, 79% showed symptoms of moderate to severe anxiety. However, there are practical tools that can help improve your mental health but finding tools that help you thrive and working on your mental health is an ongoing process. Change does not happen overnight. Instead, by focusing on small changes, you can move through the stressors of the past year and develop long-term strategies to support yourself on an ongoing basis. A great starting point for anyone who is ready to start prioritizing their mental health is to take a mental health screening at MHAscreening.org. It’s a quick, free, and confidential way for someone to assess their mental health and begin finding hope and healing.
Ultimately, during this month of May, NCFH wants to remind everyone that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is possible. By developing your own #Tools2Thrive, it is possible to find balance between life’s ups and downs and continue to cope with the challenges brought on by the pandemic. For more information and to download the #Tools2Thrive Toolkit, click here.
NCFH also has additional resources available on our Mental Health Hub.
#Tools2Thrive #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #MHM2021
An estimated 88 million American adults—more than 1 in 3—have a condition called prediabetes, which means a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. When you have prediabetes, there are steps you can take to eat healthier, move more, and manage your stress to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) lifestyle change program can help you make these changes.
The lifestyle change program, such as the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) , is inclusive for everyone who has prediabetes. This May for Mental Health Awareness Month, CDC-led National DPP is taking the time to recognize lifestyle change program participants who don’t let challenges or disabilities related to mental health stand in their way of reducing their risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Take lifestyle change program participant Joe for example. Joe has a mental health disability called bipolar disorder, which causes unusual shifts in his mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. To manage his bipolar disorder, he takes six medicines daily, many of which come with side effects, such as weight gain, extreme fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.
Joe had struggled with his weight, and when he found out from his doctor that he had developed prediabetes, it was hard for him to imagine what he could do to make healthy lifestyle changes. In addition to the side effects from his medicines, an increase in mental or physical activity makes him more likely to have panic attacks. With these challenges to overcome, Joe could have given up. Instead, Joe wouldn’t let anything stop him from improving his health to reduce his risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
That’s when Joe joined a local lifestyle change program and met his coach, Lonna. As a coach, Lonna often works with participants who have mental health disabilities, teaching them strategies for making healthy lifestyle changes in ways that work for them. For example, since Joe can’t increase his physical activity to lose weight, Lonna helped him focus more on healthy eating. She recommended using measuring cups to help with portion control. Joe uses the cups to measure out each meal and snack to make sure that he doesn’t overeat.
“Before putting the food on my plate, I put it into a one-cup measuring cup,” says Joe. “If I have pasta, I know that I can only have one or two cups. A cup of pasta is still a lot of pasta – I didn’t realize how much it was!”
Joe says he learned a lot about food and nutrition during the program and how to make better choices to improve his health. Using what he learned, he was able to lose 30 pounds!
“It’s nice for people to tell me that I look better or I look good,” says Joe. “I was proud of myself. My parents were proud of me. Lonna would weigh me and see I lost two or three pounds and I felt good about my success.”
Joe shows the strength and resilience of so many people who have overcome barriers to improve their health. He has successfully lost weight and lowered his triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. He says that anyone with prediabetes can reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes through the lifestyle change program, like he did. No matter what obstacles you face on the road to better health, the most important thing is to keep working at it and never give up!
Challenge yourself to better health! Learn more about how you can be like Joe and reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Visit the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) lifestyle change program for more information. Get started on your health journey today.
Today, our world is all about the #hustle. Between work, family obligations, hobbies, and everyday responsibilities, it’s easy to feel maxed out and stressed. This may seem a normal part of life. But did you know that stress could be impacting your risk for type 2 diabetes and other health conditions? April is Stress Awareness Month – the perfect time to reflect on how you manage stress in your life.
National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) lifestyle coach Jillian Miner likes to present the topic of stress this way: Imagine that you’re a caveman being chased by a saber tooth tiger. Your survival response kicks in, and your body needs a quick energy boost to support that adrenaline rush. When you experience stress, an easy solution appears to be sugar – a quick fuel to get you through. This is why you tend to crave sugary snacks in stressful moments or turn to “stress eating” to feel better.
A small bit of sugar may not be a problem for a caveman fleeing for his life. Today, however, building a habit of eating highly processed foods that are high in unhealthy sugar, carbs, saturated fats, and excess salt is certainly not beneficial for your health. Your body has to find a way to cope with the stressors thrown your way, and sugary foods are often many people’s go-to. This type of snacking in turn increases your blood sugar levels, your chances of having prediabetes, and your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. So, what’s the alternative?
The CDC-led National DPP lifestyle change program recognizes the importance of stress management and how effective tools for managing stress help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In the National DPP, you connect with other program participants who can relate to your challenges and lifestyle coaches who can support your health journey.
For Jillian, this means offering her participants a “buffet of stress management options,” suggesting various activities so they can determine which will work for them. Managing your stress doesn’t have to be an unattainable goal, but instead, can be about making time for the activities you already know refresh you. She says her goal is to get participants to “consider stress management in a different way. It’s about finding creative ways to reduce stress.”
Some of Jillian’s top tips for managing stress include the following:
With these approaches in mind, it’s possible to find pauses in your day to minimize stress without turning to food for comfort. Techniques like these and others offered through the National DPP will not only help you feel better emotionally, but they’ll support you in your efforts to live a healthier life overall.
To explain the benefits of the National DPP lifestyle change program, Jillian says, “The lifestyle change program isn’t about just teaching you things – everyone already has an idea of stuff that is healthy. The magic is in making healthy habits. The program helps you make healthier choices on a daily basis.”
With the help of lifestyle coaches like Jillian, some of those choices can lead to better stress management – and ultimately, a healthier lifestyle. Through the program, you can receive support in following through on the habits that help you to reduce stress.
Want to know how you can get involved and learn more about managing stress and reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes? Visit the CDC-led National DPP lifestyle change program for more information.
Healthy eating – it’s something that everyone knows is important, but it can feel like a chore. Maybe you feel pressure to always make the “right” choice. But what if you got rid of the idea of good foods and bad foods, and instead focused on small changes you could make to your eating habits to improve your health for you and your family? That’s what the lifestyle coaches from CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) lifestyle change program encourage – making small changes that can make a big difference to your overall health.
Jack Aponte didn’t consider himself a healthy eater until he participated in the National DPP lifestyle change program and learned a few tips from his lifestyle coach.
“I have an extremely large appetite,” says Jack. “My coach would make suggestions like, instead of these chips, try these chips. It wasn’t invasive. It wasn’t someone standing over you telling you what to do.”
Jack signed up for the program at the urging of his wife after he discovered he was at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The National Diabetes Prevention Program, part of the CDC-led National DPP lifestyle change program, is proven to reduce participants’ risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than 50%. Through the class, participants work with a trained lifestyle coach and a team of fellow participants who can encourage and challenge each other along the way.
“I grew up eating beautiful Italian meals like pasta and pizza,” Jack continues. “Through the program, I learned I didn’t have to give up all of that. I changed the portions a little bit. My wife and I managed to change a couple of things in the recipes. If you don’t bread it and you don’t fry it, you can still have it.”
This March for National Nutrition Month, lifestyle change coaches are offering these few tips:
If you’re ready to take the next step, learn more about joining the National Diabetes Prevention Program by visiting the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/index.html.
“With this program, it’s not like you’re on a diet,” concludes Jack. “You just make adjustments to your life that will last a lifetime. And it doesn’t mean you have to end your life – once a week you can still go out and have some ice cream.”
Harvest a Healthy Heart: Recommendations to prevent heart diseases and maintain a strong and healthy heart.
February marks Healthy Heart month, and while farmworkers put their love all year-round harvesting the nation’s crops, they can also love themselves by taking care of their hearts. Heart health is much like farming. It is a combination of planning ahead and continuously working hard to harvest good health. Here are some recommendations about sodium intake, cholesterol levels, alcohol consumption, and physical activity that can help harvesting a strong and healthy heart:
Sodium is a mineral that’s essential for life. It is regulated by your kidneys and helps balance body fluids. It also helps send nerve impulses and affects muscle function. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day and moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. Below are the amounts of sodium in teaspoon measures:
Cholesterol is a waxy substance in our bloodstream. It is needed to create body cells, but too much cholesterol can provoke health problems. There are two types of cholesterol: Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol), which is bad, and High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol), which is good. Too much of the bad, or not enough of the good, increases the risk cholesterol will slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed blood to the heart and brain. Triglycerides is another important component in cholesterol health. Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in the body, their job is to store excess fat from the food we consume. A high triglyceride level combined with high LDL (bad) cholesterol or low HDL (good) cholesterol is linked with higher risk of heart diseases.
The best way to lower your cholesterol is reduce your intake of saturated fat and trans-fat.
The American Heart Association and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute do not recommend drinking alcohol just to prevent heart disease. Alcohol can be addictive and can cause or worsen other health problems. Drinking too much alcohol increases your risk of heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke among other diseases.
If you already drink, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means:
Regular exercise has favorable effects on reducing many risk factors for cardiovascular disease. For example, exercise promotes weight loss and can help reduce blood pressure. Regular physical activity also favorably affects the body’s ability to control glucose levels in the blood. Moderate exercise on overall cardiovascular risk, when combined with other lifestyle modifications (such as healthy eating habits, moderate alcohol consumption, and low fat and sodium intake, among others), can be dramatically beneficial.
Physical activity is very important. At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week is enough to lower both cholesterol and high blood pressure. And you have lots of options, such as:
To learn more about these and other ways to take care of your heart’s health, please visit:
American Heart Association:
The National Center for Farmworker Health
Improving health care access for one of America's most vulnerable populations