Diabetes prevention programs built around Afrocentric culture successful in changing dietary behavior of African-American women

Preventing Type 2 diabetes among African-American womenWhile culturally traditional foods are a big part of the African-American heritage, they also are a significant factor in the type 2 diabetes epidemic among African-American women. And while the prevalance of type 2 diabetes is associated with higher rates of obesity, diabetes nutrition education programs have been relatively unsuccessful in attracting and retaining African-American women. However a new study shows that there is a way to reach members of this population and make a positive impact on their dietary behavior.

High rate of depression found in African-American women at risk for type 2 diabetes

Photo by David Kilper/WUSTL PhotoWendy F. Auslander, Ph.D. (left), works with St. Louis-area peer counselors in the “Eat Well, Live Well” program she pioneered with colleagues at the School of Medicine.As the cases of type 2 diabetes in African-American women increase at an epidemic rate, researchers are examining risk factors involved with this disease in order to create programs that will hopefully slow this growing problem. According to a recent study at the George Warren Brown (GWB) School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, African-American women at risk for type 2 diabetes experience long periods of depression due, in part, to a lack of economic and social resources. “At the beginning of our study, 40 percent of our sample of African-American women at risk for type 2 diabetes reported clinically significant depression,” says Wendy Auslander, Ph.D., professor at GWB and co-author of the study. “Unlike their nondepressed peers, these women reported fewer economic assets and greater economic distress. Issues such as unemployment, low self-esteem and a low appraisal of their economic situation contributed to their depression.”