Baton Rouge, La. – African Americans are more likely to have type 2 diabetes than other residents. That’s why Well-Ahead Louisiana launched Now’s the Time, a campaign to raise awareness about prediabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes.
If you visit nowsthetimeLA.com, residents can take a quick quiz to learn how much they are at risk of developing prediabetes and how to find local diabetes prevention programs in their community.
The Now’s the Time campaign began in Acadiana and northwestern Louisiana with paid ads and grassroots work to reach African Americans in those communities.
“We want to raise awareness of prediabetes among African American adults because they are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes in Louisiana,” said Melissa Martin, director of Well-Ahead Louisiana. “Prediabetes doesn’t mean that you automatically have diabetes. You can take steps to prevent this from happening. That is why this message is so important. “
There are nearly 1.3 million Louisiana residents with prediabetes, and many don’t know they have it. In prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes increases a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Louisiana representative Dustin Miller said he joined the awareness campaign because he saw the effects of diabetes in his community.
“Our friends and neighbors who live with diabetes have about 2.3 times more medical costs than those who do not have diabetes,” Miller said. “This is a question of the quality of life for our state. Living with diabetes can negatively impact family life and care. It is up to us to make the necessary changes. “
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic or long-lasting health condition that affects how a person’s body converts food into energy. There is currently no cure for diabetes, but healthy lifestyles such as nutritious foods and active activities can help prevent diabetes. Additionally, taking medication as needed, providing education and assistance with diabetes self-management, and keeping health appointments are all ways to reduce the impact diabetes has on a person’s life.
Type 2 diabetes symptoms are often undetectable. Therefore, treatment programs regularly recommend citizens to have their blood sugar tested to determine their risk.
Well-Ahead Louisiana is the State Department of Health’s chronic disease prevention and health care arm. Well-Ahead connects communities with tools and resources that will help improve the health of the Louisiana residents where they live, work, learn, play and pray. More information is available at www.wellaheadla.com.