Home » Hispanic Health » How the Right Support System Can Help Prevent Chronic Illness
Hispanic Health

How the Right Support System Can Help Prevent Chronic Illness

Hispanics have always had health outcomes that surprised the experts. For example, Hispanics live longer than non-Hispanic whites and have lower death rates for heart disease than non-Hispanic whites and Blacks, according to the National Center for Health and Vital Statistics.


Paul Baker

Senior Director for Programs, National Alliance for Hispanic Health

Even with the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on Hispanics — losing three years of life expectancy — we still have longer lives than other groups

But to live a longer life is not sufficient if it is compromised by accompanying health conditions that are more common in Hispanics, like type 2 diabetes. This does not mean every Hispanic will develop these conditions, but it means that our risk is greater. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to delay onset or manage chronic disease. 

Actionable steps

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, we all know the basics about healthy eating, drinking, and activity. But to know a fact is not enough to benefit from it, as research recently published in the Annual Review of Psychology shows knowledge could be as little as 10 percent of what is needed to act.

That is why recognizing the benefits of making change with others who provide support and expertise can help keep us on track. We need the support of family, friends, and community, and the expertise of health professionals we trust to help us make healthy, long-term lifestyle changes.

Knowing the importance of this support, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the National Diabetes Prevention Program; an evidence-based, 12-month lifestyle change program. In the program, people learn meaningful and healthy lifestyle strategies from trained coaches, increase physical activity, lose 5-7 percent of their body weight, and decrease their risk for type 2 diabetes. 

Working with the CDC, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health delivers this program for Hispanics using the culturally proficient curriculum “Prevent T2 / Prevenga el T2.” You can learn about free support and resources in your community, including Prevent T2 / Prevenga el T2 classes, by calling the bilingual Su Familia Helpline at 1-866-783-2645.

Maintaining good health and well-being is in your hands, but you do not have to do it all alone.

Next article