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Diabetes or not, dietary habits of Aftrican-Americans are similar
Date:8/5/2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio Researchers looking for differences in eating habits of African Americans based on whether or not they had Type 2 diabetes uncovered an unexpected result: No matter what the blood sugar level was, the dietary intakes were pretty much the same.

African Americans are 1.8 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and 1.4 times more likely to be obese than are non-Hispanic whites, according to federal health agencies. Obesity is a leading risk factor for development of diabetes, a condition that results when the body cannot properly use insulin to transfer sugar from the blood to muscle and fat cells that use glucose for energy.

In general, the study showed that African Americans consume more fat and saturated fat than is recommended and lower-than-recommended levels of minerals associated with bone health which can be compromised by diabetes. Blacks with diabetes got about half of their total energy from carbohydrates, and their intake of whole grains was well below recommended levels.

"This means people who do have the condition aren't doing anything different from when they didn't, and those who don't have the condition don't appear to be trying to prevent diabetes," said Jonathan Scott, a graduate student in medical dietetics at Ohio State University and lead author of the study.

"We still don't fully understand why some people get diabetes and some don't, especially if they're eating the same kind of diet. But what we can see from this study is that there is potential to use nutrition education to both improve the chances of preventing diabetes and other diseases and to help those with diabetes better manage the condition with some lifestyle changes."

The study is published in a recent issue of the journal Ethnicity & Disease.

The findings led Scott and his colleagues to assert that nutrition education materials that reflect black culture could help promote overall improvement i
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Contact: Christopher Taylor
chris.taylor@osumc.edu
614-688-7972
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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