Type 2 diabetes

The top 7 risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include:

Sedentary lifestyle (lack of physical activity or exercise)
Unhealthy eating habits
A family history of diabetes
Increased age
Hypertension and high cholesterol
Diabetes during pregnancy

There are several treatments for diabetes. For all individuals, nutrition is the key element for managing diabetes. In addition, since most people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, exercise and weight loss are extremely important. Other therapies include the use of oral medications, and insulin administration.

Diabetes is a unique disease in that treatment often requires a proactive approach with aggressive lifestyle changes, which can dramatically alter the course of the disease.

Federal studies show that about 80 percent of black women are overweight or obese, the highest percentage of any U.S. group. First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program has tried to call attention to the fact that Americans of all ages are getting fatter and suffering preventable health problems — such as Type 2 diabetes — that are thought to be triggered by or complicated by being overweight.

Outsiders might not understand some cultural reasons black women don’t exercise as much as they should. For some women, it boils down to deciding whether to exercise and watch their curls wilt from the sweat or avoid exercise to protect their permanents. White women might be able to simply shower, shampoo and use a blow dryer to look great, but she says it isn’t as easy for black women to work with their hair.

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