The American Diabetes Association Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month by Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Habits

Alexandria, Virginia
September 13, 2013

During Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM), as the nation honors the rich histories, cultures and contributions of the Hispanic community, the American Diabetes Association (Association) is proud to join in the celebration by promoting physical activity and healthy habits in an effort to Stop Diabetes®. Nearly 26 million people in the U.S. are living with diabetes, and another 79 million have prediabetes. This disease touches every community, yet disproportionately affects Hispanics, a population where 11.8 percent of people have been diagnosed with the disease.     

During HHM, the Association encourages individuals to access its wealth of resources through its Latino Programs to learn about the seriousness of diabetes and its risk factors. It also offers a free Diabetes Risk Test to help determine whether individuals are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The test requires users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for diabetes. Those at higher risk are encouraged to speak with their health care provider to learn more about ways to help reduce their risk or delay onset of the disease.

“The diabetes epidemic is affecting Latinos at nearly twice the rate of non-Latino whites,” said Lurelean B. Gaines, RN, MSN, President, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association. “The Association is committed to educating and serving this high-risk population, and we’re asking everyone to increase their physical activity which will help decrease their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”

The Association will kick off HHM with numerous events across the country, focusing on physical activity and raising awareness of the risk factors of diabetes. In Chicago, which has one of the largest Hispanic populations in the U.S., events will take place throughout the month with an emphasis on health and wellness. On Sept. 20, from 9:30am – 12:30pm, the Association is hosting its annual CONFERENCIA at the Mexican Consulate of Chicago. The event, designed to celebrate the Hispanic culture, will provide educational sessions, access to the Association’s free Diabetes Risk Test, health care screenings such as glucose and cholesterol, along with fun family activities. To wrap up HHM, the Association is teaming up with Walgreens in Berwyn, a Chicago suburb, for Feria de Salud on Oct. 12, from 11am – 3pm. This family fun, fiesta style event is expected to draw more than 1,000 participants and will include a variety of activities such as cooking demonstrations, health screenings, nutrition, Zumba dancing and diabetes awareness education for all attendees.

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.