Tag: #diabetes

Defeating Diabetes in the African American Community

By Regina Dodson | Community Health and Human Services Intern

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide, and it is becoming increasingly prevalent in the African American community. According to the American Diabetes Association, African Americans are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. This is a significant problem that must be addressed to prevent the debilitating complications associated with the disease.

There are several reasons why diabetes is affecting the African American community. A primary factor is genetics, as research has shown that African Americans are more likely to develop diabetes due to their genetic makeup. Additionally, there are social determinants of health that contribute to the higher prevalence of diabetes in African Americans, such as limited access to healthcare, poverty, and discrimination.

Food deserts, defined as areas where there is limited access to healthy and affordable food options, are also prevalent in African American communities. They have been linked to a higher incidence of diabetes. Access to healthy food options is critical for the prevention and management of diabetes, as a healthy diet is a primary component of diabetes management. The elimination of food deserts in African American communities can help to reduce diabetes.

According to the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, food deserts are more prevalent in African American communities compared to white communities, and they are associated with a higher incidence of diabetes. Lack of access to healthy food options can lead to a diet high in saturated fats, sugar, and processed foods, which are all risk factors. In addition to the lack of access to healthy food options, food deserts are also associated with poverty, which can lead to limited financial resources to purchase healthy foods. Low-income individuals are more likely to live in food deserts, and they are at a higher risk of developing diabetes due to their limited access to healthy foods (Walker et al, 2010).

Food deserts can be minimized in African American communities by investing in grocery stores and farmers’ markets that provide fresh produce and healthy food options. Additionally, community gardens and urban farming initiatives can help to provide healthy food options in underserved communities (Walker & Block, 2011). Community gardens and urban agriculture programs have been shown to be effective in increasing access to healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods. These programs provide residents with fresh fruits and vegetables, which can help reduce the incidence of diabetes and other chronic diseases and improve overall health outcomes (Lebrón et al, 2019).


LeBrón, A. M. W., Schulz, A. J., Gamboa, C., Reyes, A. G., & Cordero, E. D. (2019). Food environment interventions to improve the dietary behavior of African Americans: A systematic review. Preventive Medicine Reports, 15, 100940.

Walker, R. E., Keane, C. R., & Burke, J. G. (2010). Disparities and access to healthy food in the United States: a review of food deserts literature. Health & place, 16(5), 876-884.

Walker, R. E., & Block, J. P. (2011). Opportunities for intervention: changing the environment to improve health. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 17(Suppl 1), S44-S50.


5 Healthy Tips to Prevent Diabetes

By Terrie Johnson | Community Health & Human Services Intern

Everyone desires the delicacies of life. Eating unlimited sweets, salt, and fatty foods and lounging around without consequences seems to be the American dream! However, in reality, the lack of physical activity and healthy foods intake hardly worth the effort. That desire will slowly deteriorate once people begin to understand that the unhealthy habits they love the most, don’t really love them back.

Major components such as fat, salt, and sugar can lead to health complications. The most common health complications are diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Diabetes, specifically Type 2, is a rapidly growing global health issue. The augmented prevalence of diabetes mellitus vis-à-vis the increased obesity incidence mirrors the greater interconnectedness between diabetes and weight gain. Emphatically, obesity is associated with increased susceptibility to cardiovascular diseases (Halali et al., 2022). In 2014, more than 422 million people globally tested positive for diabetes (Halali et al., 2022). Untreated diabetes can potentially cause severe harm to an individual’s health, including the risk of kidney failure, heart attack, lower limb amputation, or death at advanced stages.

 Although these are some of the most common complications, they are highly preventable. Diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure can be treated through simple lifestyle modifications that discourage sedentariness. Understanding that these health issues are manageable through simple routine adjustments is very powerful. Implementing physical activity, healthy eating habits and behavioral change can help reduce the risk of diabetes and other health issues, ultimately guaranteeing long-term positive health outcomes for everyone.

Here are more quick tips to help prevent diabetes:

  • Stock up on healthy foods, particularly fruits, vegetables, and other foods that are high i. Try to minimize processed foods high in sugar, salt, and fat.
  • Minimize consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (sodas, juice, etc.) and increase your water intake.
  • Engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
  • Lose extra weight. Losing weight reduces the risk for diabetes
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.


Halali, F., Lapveteläinen, A., Aittola, K., Männikkö, R., Tilles-Tirkkonen, T., Järvelä-Reijonen, E., … & Karhunen, L. (2022). Associations between weight loss history and factors related to type 2 diabetes risk in the Stop Diabetes study. International Journal of Obesity, 46(5), 935-942. https://doi.org/s41366-021-01061-4