Did you know that certain communities are uniquely at risk for health issues, such as prediabetes? Prediabetes is a condition that comes before type 2 diabetes and means a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. For example, 32% of Hispanics and Latinos have prediabetes, and only 1 in 14 are aware that they do.
April 1st kicks off Minority Health Month in the U.S., a time for teaming up as a community to strive for better health. Getting healthy on your own isn’t easy, but healthy changes are much more enjoyable with family and friends by your side. Plus, others can help keep you on track and celebrate your successes. Families, friends, and communities who work together have a better chance of beating the odds of progressing to type 2 diabetes.
One thing you can do with a friend or family member is learn whether you may have prediabetes. Prediabetes is often reversible with healthy lifestyle changes. You can quickly and easily find out if you might have it by taking the prediabetes risk test at doihaveprediabetes.org. An estimated 1 in 3 Americans has prediabetes, so after you’ve taken the test, share it with a friend or family member. Together, you can find a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program that can help you work on incorporating healthy habits, like walking to the grocery store or local farmers’ market to shop for fresh produce and then cooking a new recipe together.
Making long-term healthy lifestyle changes is possible, especially if you attend a program like the National Diabetes Prevention Program. At any CDC-recognized lifestyle change program, participants learn ways to eat better and increase physical activity while connecting with others who share the same goals for improving their health. Bruce Wheeler, 52, a program participant shared, "When my glucose levels and blood pressure started to increase, I knew I had to do something to reduce my risk of developing type 2 diabetes. When I mentioned my concerns to a friend, she told me about this lifestyle change program. I love the support and encouragement I get from the other program participants and the lifestyle coach. I enjoy making lifestyle changes such as cutting back on red meat and sugary drinks. I now keep my bike at work and take lunch-break rides around town to stay active! I love having a lifestyle coach. She has given us great information, helped me stay on track and stay positive!"
Joining a lifestyle change program is something you, your family, and your friends can do together to improve your health. Grab a friend and consider joining today if you have prediabetes. You can learn more at www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/program-providers.htm. Remember, a healthy community starts with you!
The National Center for Farmworker Health
Improving health care access for one of America's most vulnerable populations