Every Latino child born today has a 50 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes in his or her lifetime. Diabetes, specifically type 2, has become a serious concern for the growing population of Latinos in America. There are a variety of factors that contribute to this staggering rate including culturally traditional diets of high fats and carbohydrates, high levels of poverty, and poor access to healthcare.
“Diabetes is a worldwide problem that can lead to devastating consequences…yet very few people are aware about the nature of this chronic condition,” said Enrique Caballero, M.D., founder and Director of the Latino Diabetes Initiative. “The Latino population, the largest minority group in the country, is at particularly high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, this group has a high chance of developing its chronic complications and receive a lower quality of diabetes care.”
More than a decade ago, members at the Joslin Diabetes Center saw what a massive problem Latinos face when it comes to preventing and treating diabetes. In the summer of 2002, Joslin launched the Latino Diabetes Initiative (LDI) to tackle the growing threat of diabetes in the Latino community.
The Latino Diabetes Initiative aims to improve care both in the clinic and in the community. Many of the programs designed by the LDI are outreach programs aimed at teaching self-care and healthier living. These aren’t run of the mill teaching sessions; each learning tool has been tailored to alleviate the unique problems faced by Latino patients.