When Number One Son first started playing on a mostly Asian-American basketball team at his school, two out of 8 kids on his squad had diabetes and had to take insulin. So after Tim forwarded this article from the Honolulu Star Bulletin that said juvenile diabetes hits more Asian and Pacific islanders who live in Hawaii and the rest of the US than those who live in Asia, I was both surprised and unsurprised. Type 2 diabetes, typically caused from a sedentary lifestyle and a bad diet, was not a surprise, as immigrant adoption of the American diet usually correlates to poorer health and some Asian-American groups are particularly sedentary. I personally know a lot of Asian-Americans who have diabetes, and my personal experience with Hawaiian food is that it isn’t the healthiest cuisine in the world (e.g. loco moco shown below with sides of fried saimin and macaroni salad).
What did surprise me was that Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune condition of unknown cause, was higher also.
Since while type 1 and gestational (pregancy related) diabetes are not preventable (well, sort of preventable for gestational diabetes), type 2 can be generally be prevented with a healthy diet and exercise – basically avoiding obesity and watching one’s weight. That’s something we all, regardless of ethnicity or race, can take away from this.