Beat it

Beat it

Diabetes forecast: Current trend shows Hispanics at risk



SAN ANTONIO -- Newborns born in Texas are already facing a health risk. Those born in Bexar County face an even higher risk. That's if nothing changes.
"If current trends continue, one in three children may be diagnosed with diabetes," said Dr. John Nava, a physician and member of the American Diabetes Association.
He said the numbers are worse for Hispanic children. Half of all Hispanic children will have diabetes in the future. Nava said that's because one in two children may be diagnosed in the future.
So Dr. Nava and the American Diabetes Association is hosting the "Por tu Familia Conferencia Educativa" on Saturday, September 28, to reach out to Hispanics at risk.
The event will include simple prevention techniques, like teaching a healthy way to prepare enchiladas.
"Healthy cooking in the Latino kitchen," Nava said.
According to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, the prevalence of diabetes for Hispanics is 16 percent. Compared to the nation, the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes is 13 percent, and for the U.S. it's 9 percent.
Diabetes and obesity are the two biggest health threats according to another study by the U.T. Health Science Center San Antonio.
"Comparing South Texas to the rest of Texas, obesity rates here were higher," said Dr. Dorothy Long Parma of UT Health Science Center San Antonio.
She participated in compiling and publishing the results of "Report: Obesity, Diabetes are Biggest Health Threats in South Texas." South Texas Health Status Review also implicated that certain cancers and other diseases were big health threats too.
Dr. Parma said the study showed you were at a higher risk of being obese just by living in South Texas.
"Comparing Hispanics in South Texas to the rest of Texas obesity rates were higher there as well," she said.
South Texas, a 38-county region spanning 45,000 square miles along the Texas-Mexico border and northward up to Bexar County is home to 18 percent of the state's population. Yet, South Texas residents who are predominantly Hispanics struggle with lower educational levels, less income and less access to health care.
According to the report, the percentage of obese adults in South Texas, 32.7 percent, was higher than that of the rest of Texas, 29.1 percent, and the nation.
Unfortunately, many people living with diabetes do not even know it. So, in addition to cooking classes, the "Por tu Familia Conferencia" will include free health screenings and bilingual dental care workshops.
"It's going to be on the westside where these people live and work," said Nava.
The free conference takes place Saturday, September 28, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3014 Rivas Street.

For more information call 1-888-diabetes.