March 24th – American Diabetes Alert Day

By Jeri Royce, President & CEO

There is much uncertainty and concern in our world today about COVID-19. One thing we are not uncertain about is the impact and seriousness of diabetes on the American public broadly, and specifically on the communities in which Esperança serves.

  • Diabetes impacts approximately 34.2 million Americans - that’s about 10.5 percent of the U.S. population.
  • Of those living with diabetes, 7.3 mission – 1 in 7 adults – don’t know they have it.
  • It is estimated that 2.5 million, or 10.4 percent of Hispanic or Latino Americans aged 20 and older have diabetes and are more likely to be undiagnosed than non-Hispanics.
  • An additional 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year.

American Diabetes Alert Day is an excellent reminder to stay informed about this prevalent disease. As you probably know, there are two types of diabetes. While Type 1 diabetes is not preventable, it can be managed well with insulin injections. Managing Type 1 diabetes can also include eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.

The good news for all of us is that while not preventable for everyone, making healthy choices provides the best chance of not getting it. In fact, 9 out of every 10 cases of diabetes in the U.S. can be avoided if lifestyle changes are implemented. Ways to prevent Type 2 diabetes include:

  • Eliminate sugar and refined carbs
  • Work out regularly and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle
  • Make water your primary beverage
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat a high fiber diet
  • Optimize Vitamin D levels

Esperança delivers diabetes management and prevention and nutrition classes to low-income Latino communities in Arizona. Taught in Spanish, our educational programs help create awareness among this vulnerable population while offering practical tools and resources to help our participants maintain a healthy lifestyle.

For more information on diabetes, please visit the American Diabetes Association.

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