Type 2 Diabetes Affects Latinos and Blacks More than Whites
“We see a lot of Latino and Black people and sad to say, type 2 diabetes and its harmful effects are far too common with us,” said LaSalle Medical Associates CEO Dr. Albert Arteaga.”
SAN BERNARDINO, CAIF. There is an old saying that “You are what you eat.” And when it comes to what you eat and your chances of contracting type 2 diabetes, this is especially true.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, “You can inherit a predisposition for diabetes, a disease that disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities.” The FDA goes on to note that the death rate for Hispanics from diabetes is “50 percent higher than for non-Hispanic whites.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health research studies spanning the years 2018 and 2019 found that non-Hispanic Blacks were “twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to die from diabetes” and “2.5 times more likely to be hospitalized with diabetes and associated long-term complications than non-Hispanic whites.”
San Bernardino County’s population is 55.8 percent Hispanic or Latino and 9.4 percent Black or African American, per the United States Census Bureau’s July 2022 estimates. In Riverside County, the percentages are 51.6 for Hispanics or Latinos and 7.5 for Blacks or African Americans.
“We see a lot of Latino and Black people,” said LaSalle Medical Associates CEO Dr. Albert Arteaga, “and sad to say, type 2 diabetes and its harmful effects are far too common with us.” Type 2 diabetes is a major health concern for the Inland Empire and LaSalle Medical Associates works hard to address the problem.
Dr. Arteaga says, “Our physicians make it a point to discuss proper nutrition with patients they see who may be pre-diabetic or who have already been diagnosed with the disease.”
Several risk factors contribute to this problem and one of those is eating the wrong foods. Latino and African American diets often include fatty pork, foods fried or cooked with lard or unhealthy shortenings and oils, and starchy vegetables like beans, corn, potatoes, chickpeas, and parsnips, not to mention lots of sugary soft drinks and juices.
Some foods are loaded with refined sugars that few people think as high in sugar, including barbecue sauces, ketchup, baked beans, tomato soups and sauces, canned fruits and vegetables, salad dressings, and Asian-style sauces like Thai sweet chili and teriyaki. These, too, are often part of ethnic minority diets.
Now that the Covid pandemic has receded, LaSalle’s clinics are reaching out to encourage people to come in for preventive health screenings that include talking about diet and diabetes. “We see a lot of Latino and Black clients and we make sure that they get the facts about how important good nutrition is to their overall health and especially diabetes prevention and treatment,” said Dr. Arteaga.
“In addition to avoiding the bad foods, we recommend good ones: lean pork, chicken—especially with the skin off and roasted rather than fried, fish, and healthy veggies—spinach, kale, broccoli, beets, carrots, collard greens, cabbage, cucumbers, cauliflower, raw tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, alfalfa sprouts, and garlic,” added Dr. Arteaga.
Another key factor is consistent management. Diabetes has no cure. Once a person has it, no magic pill or shot will make it go away. “You must stick with your treatment program,” said Dr. Arteaga. “Staying on one’s meds and sticking to a healthy diet is something we constantly remind our adult and pediatric patients to do.”
LaSalle serves many people who are covered by Medi-Cal and Healthy Families. They also accept patients covered by Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Molina, Care 1st, Health Net, and Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP). LaSalle knows how to help people who lack insurance enroll in coverage that fits their needs.
For more information about LaSalle Medical Associates, call (855) 349-6019 or go online to LaSalleMedical.com.
About LaSalle Medical Associates
LaSalle operates six clinics employing more than 100 dedicated healthcare professionals, treating children, adults, and seniors in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. LaSalle’s patients are primarily served by Medi-Cal and Healthy Families. LaSalle also accepts Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Molina, Care 1st, Health Net, and Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) coverage.
LaSalle is also an Independent Practice Association (IPA) of independently contracted doctors, hospitals, and clinics, delivering high-quality patient care to approximately 365,000 patients in Fresno, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, and Tulare counties.
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