SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

American Diabetes Association

February 03, 2014 09:31 ET

Celebrate Black History Month by Raising Awareness About the Seriousness of Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association Is Encouraging the Community to Help Stop Diabetes®

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwired - Feb 3, 2014) -  During Black History Month, the American Diabetes Association (Association) is raising awareness about the seriousness of type 2 diabetes among the African American community by providing educational materials and program resources to help stop this growing epidemic.

Nearly 26 million people in the U.S. are living with diabetes. Of them, 4.9 million, or 18.7 percent aged 20 years or older are African American. This month, the Association wants to call attention to these staggering numbers and the importance of preventing type 2 diabetes as well as managing one's disease. If left untreated, diabetes can cause serious complications and African Americans are at increased risk for blindness, kidney disease and amputations.

"Diabetes affects every community, yet the rate of diabetes among African Americans is 1.8 times more likely than non-Latino whites," said Elizabeth R. Seaquist, MD, President, Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association. "This month, we want to draw attention to the seriousness of diabetes among the African American community. We want the community to get educated about their risk for type 2 diabetes and encourage them to learn about the Association's African American program called Live Empowered®."

Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7 percent of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

To celebrate Black History Month and raise awareness about diabetes among the African American community, the Association will be conducting activities across the country. To find out what activities are happening in your community, or to learn about the Live Empowered program and the materials and resources that are available, visit www.diabetes.org/blackhistorymonth or call 1-888-DIABETES (1-888-342-2383).

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 (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org.

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