Diabetes: Increased Risk for Type 2 Diabetes in Latinos Who Adopt U.S. Eating Habits

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In an article from Diabetes News, new research suggests that Latinos who forego traditional foods to adopt American eating habits are putting themselves at risk for type 2 diabetes.  Latinos already dianosed with type 2 diabetes have more difficulty than other ethnic groups in controlling their disease and "acculturation" to typically unheathy eating habits makes managing diabetes even harder, the study suggests.

"Diabetes is a substantial and growing problem in the Latino community and diabetes self-management and an appropriate lifestyle are key components to managing diabetes," says Mainous. "The adoption of typical US eating habits is inconsistent with healthy eating."

Lead researcher, Dr. Arch G. Mainous from Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston reviewed data from a nation-wide sample of Latinos.  He and his colleagues determined that "Latinos who were more acculturated were less likely to have diets high in fiber (roughly 9 percent vs. 35 percent) and lower in saturated fat (17 vs. 46 percent) than their less-acculturated peers." However, on a positive note, some Latinos were also more likely to be more physically active. It’s important to note that type 2 diabetes prevention is more than just diabetes and weight loss.

The study results were published in the March/April 2008 edition of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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