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African-Americans disproportionately affected by diabetes

Video from WALB
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 6:25 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in Americans. Diabetes also disproportionately affects African-Americans.

About 55% of Black adults have high blood pressure, or hypertension, according to the American Heart Association. Sixty percent of Black adults are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.

Tools at the doctor's office to check blood pressure.
Tools at the doctor's office to check blood pressure.(WALB)

Doctors also say obesity is common in the African-American community.

Derek Heard with the Phoebe Physician Group says this is because of things like lack of fresh food choices.

He says knowing how to keep your body healthy can lower those risks.

Derek Heard is the Medical Director for Primary Care for Phoebe Physician Group. He says it's...
Derek Heard is the Medical Director for Primary Care for Phoebe Physician Group. He says it's not only what you eat, but how much you consume as well.(WALB)

“We’re looking at the fact now that we’re living in a time now where inflation is high. Lack of resources is low,” Heard said. “So the one thing that you can do is control what you put in your mouth every day. And that can alleviate some of the money that you’re spending on treatment by making sure that you’re doing everything on your end to prevent progression of these diseases.”

Eating healthy is key. Doctors say eating too many carbohydrates like bread, pasta, sweet drinks, and pastries can cause diabetes and hypertension.

Albany’s Farmer Fredo says farming fresh fruits and vegetables is not just healthier. It’s actually cheaper and more efficient.

“Butternut squash. It has a taste that’s similar, like the sweet potatoes that are equally healthy, but like a farmer. It’s a crop that we can grow to have like longer shelf life,” he said. “So that means that once we harvest it from the field, we can store it in the space and it’ll retain its nutritional value.”

Farmer Fredo says if you’d like to learn more about growing your own food to keep track of Healthy Sumter’s events.

Diabetes pamphlet.
Diabetes pamphlet.(WALB)

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