Studies Examine Obesity Among Head Start Children, Diabetes Intervention Among Blacks, Blacks’ Attitudes Toward Heart Attacks
- "Childhood Obesity Among Head Start Enrollees in Minnesota: Prevalence and Risk Factors," Ethnicity & Disease: Toddlers living in homes where English is spoken as a second language are more likely to be overweight than children in homes where English is the primary language, according to a study in the latest issue of the journal Ethnicity & Disease. The study examined 788 three-to-five-year-olds in two Minnesota counties who were enrolled in Head Start programs between 1998 and 2001. It found that 15.5% of ESL children were overweight, compared with 9.7% of children who primarily spoke English. In addition, Mexican children were almost twice as likely to be overweight as white children and those of other ethnic groups, including non-Mexican Hispanic children, the study found. The Mayo Clinic's Young Juhn, study co-author, said, "The language barrier may be more significant than we think in limiting families speaking English as a second language from access to healthy foods." He added that Head Start "is a great setup for educating ESL families about healthy foods" (Newswise, 1/18).
- "Improvement in Lipid and Glycated Hemoglobin Control Among Black Adults With Diabetes -- Raleigh and Greensboro, North Carolina, 1997-2004," Journal of the American Medical Association: This week's JAMA includes a report from a November 2006 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on the Project Diabetes Intervention Reaching and Educating Communities Together program. Project DIRECT is a community-based intervention program that seeks to improve self-care, access to care and quality of care for residents with diabetes. The report examined whether glycemic and lipid levels improved among adult blacks with diabetes living in Raleigh and Greensboro, N.C., from 1997 to 2004, where the program was implemented. The findings indicated improvement among black participants in terms of recommended cholesterol and hemoglobin levels; however, a significant number of participants smoked and thus had glycemic and lipid levels higher than recommended at the time of follow-up. The report recommended increasing diabetes education and improving care quality to reduce risk factors for those at high risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease (JAMA, 1/17).
- Survey of Heart Attack Survivors, National Medical Association: The survey of blacks who had had heart attacks -- conducted between Aug. 25, 2006, and Sept. 20, 2006, by the Segmentation Company, a division of Yankelovich -- found that 68% viewed their heart attack as a "wake-up call." In addition, 93% believed they were at risk of a second heart attack, yet 27% said they did not take their heart medication exactly as prescribed by their physician and 30% said they are not doing everything they can to avoid a second heart attack. Further, 50% of respondents said there is a lack of information available to prevent another heart attack or what to do in case of another heart attack. NMA, through a campaign called "Heartfelt Wake-up Call," is seeking to increase educational material available to blacks on how to prevent a second heart attack (NMA release, 1/17).