There is today a growing concern about attack of diabetes on African Americans. Data from the National Diabetes Education Program, for example, indicate that diabetes is hitting African Americans in epidemic proportions. The African Americans constitute one of biggest ethnic groups in the US that heavily suffers from Type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the affliction is the leading cause of disability and mortality among African Americans in the country.
A number of factors that cause Type 2 diabetes has been identified. Genetic factors, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes during pregnancy and high cholesterol are some of the factors that are believed to cause some 95 percent of all cases of Type 2 diabetes. Although unsupported by scientific data, the genetic make up of African Americans is suspected to provide links to their vulnerability to the disease. Estimates place the number of diabetic African Americans at 3.2 million, 33 percent of them believed undiagnosed.
Within the African American communities, data indicate that chances of giving in to complications brought about by diabetes are higher among poor African Americans than other ethnic blocs. This raises the possibility that lack of access to health care services and helpful information with respect to the disease might be the chief reason why attack of diabetes at least on a certain segment of the African American population is on the rise. The possibility of contracting the disease is relatively lower for richer African Americans and equal to that of other ethnic groups.
Aside from lack of access to health care services, inadequate information on diabetes and lack of access to emergency medical attention and lifesaving drugs, most people who belong to poor communities are exposed to foods that may lack nutritional value. The mushrooming of fast food chains seem to target ethnic groups like African Americans. Foods served by fast food restaurants are often high in fats and carbohydrates, but low in nutrients that really matter. An example is French fries, which lead among food items that are not recommended for diabetics. Unfortunately, French fries have become almost synonymous to fast food restaurants. French fries are carbohydrates-rich and also high in fat, but wanting in protein. Low-income class households patronize these fast food restaurants because they offer relatively inexpensive choices of menu. They respond to the needs of families with limited budget.
The attack of Type 2 diabetes on African Americans can be foiled in various ways. If you belong to high-risk groups, these are the suggestions: One, find out from the Glycemic Index the list of foods that should be avoided by diabetics; and shun them. Two, try to get yourself involved in a serious exercise routine. If you are obese, make getting rid of extra poundage one of your exercise key goals. Three, avail yourself of regular screening examinations for diabetes. Try to get in touch with your local health offices, whose services are free, if you have no access to other providers of health care services. These tests are sometimes crucial to providing timely medication that may yet prove effective for otherwise hopeless cases.
Suggestions addressed directly to African Americans include resisting fast food restaurants. Unhealthy foods are not only suspected of giving rise to diabetes, they also lead to heart diseases and even cancer. They must realize the urgent nature of the problem. Type 2 diabetes has marked African Americans as relatively easy prey.
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