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Improving Health in the Latino Community

There exists an epidemic in the Latino community in incidence of diabetes and stroke. Here's what you can do.

By Sal Valdez
Published on LatinoLA: July 25, 2011


Improving Health in the Latino Community


There is a growing consensus among health professionals that there exists an epidemic in the Latino community in incidence of diabetes and stroke. About 12% of Latino adults are stricken with diabetes. Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death in America behind heart disease and cancer.

The causes of diabetes and stroke are the same; a poor diet and a lack of a daily exercise regimen.

Sure those tamales and carnitas are delicious but can lead to debilitating conditions such as diabetes and stroke.

The remedy is well known:
*a diet that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables ÔÇô cutting back on red meats
* an exercise program of daily walking or running or riding a bicycle.

After working as a school teacher for 28 years in the LA unified School District, I suffered a career-ending stroke in September of 2006. Today, I get around by wheelchair. I volunteer at a local elementary school and speak to parents and community groups about health issues and the need to live a healthier lifestyle.

Though the statistics are daunting there is hope through education. It does not help that Latinos are less likely to have health insurance. Nationally, the uninsured rate among Latinos is 3 times higher than that of whites.

So turn off the TV. Don't go to the neighborhood taco stand. Walk to the grocery store to buy your fruits and vegetables.

I can be reached at poststrokelife.blogspot.com

Related Stories on LatinoLA.com

Making Sure Kids Lead Healthy Lives

Hispanic Health: Long Live Latinos!

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