According to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, African-American people who have family members who are diabetic have greater knowledge of the disease, but not necessarily a healthier lifestyle. Diabetes incidence is growing, fed by rising obesity levels and poor diet .
Diabetes affects African-American people more than other ethnic groups, yet the study indicates that even those who have direct experience of the disease are not likely to take steps to reduce their own risk of developing diabetes. Diabetics were given a series of risk factors to identify their awareness of the disease.
The study was conducted at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. According to co-author Tiffany Gary: “We hypothesized that persons with a family history would be more aware of risk factors for diabetes, however, we were surprised that they were not more likely to engage in more of the healthy behaviors compared to persons without a family history.”
Gary suggested a remedy, reportedly commenting: “One approach would be to improve awareness of health risks associated with being overweight or obese and accurate perceptions of defining overweight and obesity. This could be accomplished by national campaigns, community activism and policy approaches.”

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