Take charge of your health today. Be informed. Be involved. …Diabetes and Physical Activity

by Esther Bush, For New Pittsburgh Courier

This month, the “Take Charge of Your Health Today” page focuses on the relationship between diabetes and physical activity. Erricka Hager and Bee Schindler, community engagement coordinators, University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), and Esther L. Bush, president and CEO, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, spoke about this topic.

EH: Good morning, Ms. Bush. It’s such a pleasure to sit down with you again to revisit two important health topics—diabetes and physical activity. I am grateful that we have the chance to discuss the importance of managing your diabetes and getting active and the relationship between the two.

EB: Yes, Erricka. It is important to continue to have these conversations to educate and empower our readers—especially because research shows that participating in physical activity programs is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. I like that Dr. Elizabeth M. Venditti and the Diabetes Prevention Support Center of the University of Pittsburgh are assisting older adults in determining different ways to get active. This will help reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

BS: I agree, Ms. Bush. The results of the 2002 Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study stating that diet and physical activity are key ways to reduce your risk of developing diabetes was very important. I am pleased that Dr. Venditti took it a step further. Dr. Venditti understood that engaging patients prior to the diabetes diagnosis was more helpful than after. We should also mention that lifestyle changes are beneficial to all groups of people. However, research shows that African Americans are at a greater risk of developing diabetes.

EB: Wow! Dr. Venditti suggests that adding physical fitness to our daily routine is a great way for our readers— especially those who are at a greater risk of developing diabetes—to take charge of their health today. I am so proud of this partnership. I’m thrilled that we are continuing to provide ways for our readers to take charge of their health. Providing the community with current research findings on important health topics is fundamental to our mission of working to enable African Americans to achieve self-reliance.

EH: Yes, Ms. Bush. This page provides our readers with a range of ways they can get up and get moving. I would also encourage our readers to visit the Pitt + Me website at www.pittplusme.org. Pitt+Me is the CTSI research registry. There are currently multiple diabetes-related research studies being done at the University. Not only are there research opportunities for adults, but there are also opportunities for children as well.

EB: I love the Pitt + Me website. It is a great way for the community to opt-in to research studies in which they are interested. It is another way for our community to become a “research-informed community.” I am proud to say that the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh supports research and research participation. I am glad that we are empowering our community members to improve their health through research.

BS: Thank you so much for having this conversation with us, Ms. Bush. I hope you and our readers have a great Thanksgiving. I can’t believe that next month’s topic of maternal mortality will be our final topic of 2019.

If anyone has any topics they would like us to discuss, email ctsi7@pitt.edu.


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