Diabetes and Ethnicity
Studies indicate that ethnicity and genetics play a large role in the onset of Type 2 diabetes .
Black, Asian and Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Alaska
Natives, are more likely to get Type 2 diabetes than White Americans
simply because of a genetic marker on their genes that makes them
process sugars and fats slower than Caucasians.
But, recently studies have shown that education, income, neighborhood (socioeconomic forces) play a even stronger role in raising the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. That is if you know the importance of healthy meals, physical activity, and stores are in your neighbor hood sell fresh healthy food – and you have the income to buy from these stores – then you can prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes or delay it.
The percentages below indicate the incidence of diabetes in the
ethnic group indicated. They include people in the United States with
both Type1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes who are 20 years of age or older.
- 8.7% of White Americans (non-Hispanic)
- 9.5 % of Hispanics
- 13.3% of Black Americans (non-Hispanic)
- 15.1 % of American Indians and Alaska Natives
Source: 2005 Fact Sheet by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
When compared with White Americans, the chart below shows how much more likely the specific ethnic group is to get the disease.
Black Americans: 1.8 times
- Hispanic/Latino Americans: 1.8 times
- American Indian/Alaska Natives: 2.2 times
- Asian Americans: 1.5 to 2.5 times
- Pacific Islanders: 1.5 to 2.5 times
However, these ethnic groups have an easier time delaying the onset
of diabetes-related complications through nutrition and lifestyle
changes. Obesity is still a major leading factor in the onset of diabetes. Therefore, if you are in one of these higher-risk ethnic
groups, you not only have to take your genetic make-up into
consideration, but you still need to avoid obesity. After all, obesity is very closely related to the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
We All Need to Eat Less and Exercise More!