Thursday, April 11, 2024

Obesity and Diabetes Rising with Latinos, But Can Be Easily Prevented

A recent report from the United Health Foundation revealed that health concerns around obesity and diabetes continue to rise within the Latino community, affecting 31% of Latinos in the U.S.

The rate at which obesity and diabetes affects the Latino community is almost commensurate with the rate for the general population in the country, which the report puts at 28%. Dr. Roberto Madrid, Medical Director of United Healthcare, says that the report measures 24 areas of impact to overall health rankings, and that while there were recorded areas of improvement, the rising obesity and diabetes rates present a major area of concern.

“We saw betterment in some measures among the Hispanic community,” says Dr. Madrid. “The rates of premature death, death due to cancers, cardiovascular deaths and infant mortality all improved. But diabetes and obesity rates take away from those betterments.”

As previously reported on La Plaza, Latinos develop diabetes 1.5 times greater than white Americans, and run a higher risk of having diabetes due to poverty, lack of health care and cultural attitudes and behaviors. La Plaza also reported that obesity was one of the leading health issues in the United States, with 39.1% of Latino adults considered to be obese, and 14.8% of Latino infants being overweight.

Yet, Dr. Madrid says that these health concerns are preventable and that there are opportunities to turn the trend around and have families make the necessary changes to avoid health dangers. With the upcoming holidays and New Year approaching, Dr. Madrid sees this as a great time to be watchful and cut down on unnecessary calories. He also says that the health changes to prevent diabetes can be made while tackling weight loss at the same time.

“[Diabetes] is preventable with weight loss,” says Dr. Madrid. “Five percent weight loss will reduce your risk of going from pre-diabetes to diabetes by 60 percent. That’s better than any medication.”

NBC Latino