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Celebrity Chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz Partners with Merck on Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon to Cook up Delicious, Diabetes-Friendly Dishes for Hispanics with Type 2 Diabetes
Date:3/8/2013

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Celebrity chef and cookbook author, Chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz, is partnering with Merck on Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon (Taking Diabetes to Heart) to educate Hispanics living with type 2 diabetes about including small, but important changes in their lifestyle. Chef Leticia will visit select cities to show the Hispanic community how to make traditional dishes healthy, without compromising taste, and help educate people with type 2 diabetes about how they can live a diabetes-friendly lifestyle.

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"My grandfather died from complications from his type 2 diabetes so I know how important it is for people living with type 2 diabetes to manage their disease to help reduce their risk of serious complications, such as heart disease and stroke," said Chef Leticia. "In the Hispanic community, we all take to heart our families, our food, our culture, and our community activities, and diabetes impacts all of these aspects of our lives. I'm thrilled to be partnering with Merck on Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon to provide Hispanics living with type 2 diabetes and their families and caregivers with culturally-relevant resources to help them learn how to live a healthier lifestyle."

One of the more difficult aspects of diabetes management can be adjusting your diet, especially when food is an important aspect of the culture, as it is in the Hispanic community. As part of the program, Chef Leticia will be serving up some of her favorite dishes through cooking demonstrations at the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) Feria de Salud at Calle Ocho event in Miami on March 10. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample Chef Leticia's favorite diabetes-friendly dishes that will be served by a participating local food truck.

"We are excited to feature Merck's Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon as part of this year's Feria de Salud at Calle Ocho event," said Flavia Llizo , Executive Director of the American Diabetes Association in Miami, Florida. "The American Diabetes Association is committed to raising awareness of type 2 diabetes and providing relevant resources for those at an increased risk for the disease, including Hispanics. This program is providing important information for people living with type 2 diabetes."

Type 2 diabetes affects the Hispanic community living in the United States more than other ethnic groups, and this community has a 66 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic white adults. Of the Hispanic adults living in the United States, nearly 12 percent are diagnosed with diabetes, which is among the highest prevalence of ethnic groups in the United States.

"I am pleased to work with Merck on Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon to educate Hispanics in Miami about managing this complex disease," said Frank Lavernia , MD, Internal Medicine, Coconut Creek, Florida. "Whether they are already diagnosed, at risk for, or caring for someone with type 2 diabetes, everyone attending the event can benefit from learning about the disease and the importance of working with a health care provider to set personalized goals.

If diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it is important to work with your health care provider to develop a comprehensive diabetes-management plan that includes diet, exercise and, if appropriate, medication, and stick to that plan. There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach, so talk to your health care provider about developing an individualized treatment plan that is right for you.

Visit CuidaTuDiabetesCuidaTuCorazon.com for more information about Chef Leticia's story, Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon, and bilingual resources for people with type 2 diabetes, including delicious, diabetes-friendly recipes that the whole family can enjoy, as well as tips for living a healthier lifestyle.

About Chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz
Chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz is a chef, cookbook author, teacher, and food stylist with expertise in Hispanic and Latino cuisine. Diabetes is a topic that is very close to her heart, and Chef Leticia is now partnering with Merck on Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon to help educate Hispanics that including small, but important changes in their lifestyle can help them.

About Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon
Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon is an educational program developed by Merck to help raise awareness for Hispanics living with type 2 diabetes in the United States to better understand the importance of type 2 diabetes management, including healthy eating and setting personalized goals for the ABCs of diabetes -- A for A1C, or blood sugar, B for blood pressure, and C for cholesterol, to help reduce their risk for serious complications, including heart disease and stroke. The program offers bilingual resources for people with type 2 diabetes and their families and caregivers, including delicious, diabetes-friendly recipes for the whole family, tips for living a healthier lifestyle while still enjoying many of the foods and activities they enjoy, and sample questions to ask health care providers about type 2 diabetes management.

About Type 2 Diabetes
When someone has type 2 diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin, and/or the insulin that the body makes does not work the way it should. This causes blood sugar levels to become too high, and the body may also keep making sugar even though it does not need it. Once a person has type 2 diabetes, it does not go away. Over time, diabetes can lead to serious complications, such as heart disease and stroke.

About Merck
Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader. Merck is known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


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