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For Immediate Release: January 12, 2009
Contact: CDC Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286



Campaign Helps Hispanics With Diabetes Enjoy Healthy, Traditional Foods

New tools are available to help Hispanics enjoy healthy versions of their favorite recipes and control portion sizes, all designed to reduce their risk of developing diabetes. The recipes and other materials are part of a campaign called Más que comida, es vida, which means “It′s more than food. It′s life.”

The campaign was developed by the National Diabetes Education Program, a joint program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

Más que comida, es vida provides new tools to Hispanics to prepare traditional foods in a more healthy way. “A few simple adjustments can make these dishes healthier and lower in fat and calories,” said Betsy Rodríguez, public health advisor of the National Diabetes Education Program′s Hispanic/Latino Work Group.

Más que comida, es vida features materials written in English and Spanish, including a recipe booklet called Ricas recetas para personas con diabetes y sus familiares(Tasty Recipes for People with Diabetes and Their Families), that offers food ideas specifically designed for the Hispanic palate. Among the delicious and healthy recipes now included in the booklet are: Spanish omelet (tortilla Espanñola), beef or turkey stew (carne guisada de res o pavo), Caribbean red snapper (pargo rojo caribeño), two cheese pizza (pizza de dos quesos), and avocado tacos (tacos de aguacate).

Compared to whites, Hispanics are disproportionately affected by diabetes. More than 10 percent of Hispanics aged 20 years and older have diagnosed diabetes. Among Hispanics, rates of diabetes are 8.2 percent for Cubans, 11.9 percent for Mexican-Americans, and 12.6 percent for Puerto Ricans.

“Meal preparation is a critical component of diabetes control. Studies show that overweight or obese individuals can prevent or delay diabetes by losing just 5 percent to 7 percent of their total weight,” Rodriquez said.

CDC′s Division of Diabetes Translation and the NIH jointly sponsor the National Diabetes Education Program, which provides diabetes education to improve treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes, promote early diagnosis and prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

Más que comida, es vida campaign materials and the recipe booklet are available at www.ndep.nih.gov or by calling 1-888-693-NDEP (6337).

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