Hollywood Actor Puts A "FACE" On Diabetes Among Young Black Americans
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Black Americans are twice as likely to get a diabetes diagnosis as whites, and television and film actor Anthony Anderson has joined a new campaign to raise diabetes awareness among African-Americans. NY1's Health reporter Kafi Drexel filed the following report.
TV and film actor Anthony Anderson is best known for his work on "Law & Order" and his supporting roles in comedies, but for a while Type-2 diabetes was slowing down his usually non-stop lifestyle.
"I have this great scale at the house. Step on it barefoot, it tells you everything about yourself, metabolical age, how much physical fat you have one you, organs that have fat that can kill you," says Anderson. "I stood on that one day and at 36 it told me that I had the body of a 50 year old."
Diagnosed with diabetes 10 years ago, Anderson is now also working to raise awareness among black Americans through Eli Lilly's "Fearless African-Americans Connected and Empowered (F.A.C.E.) Diabetes" campaign.
Nearly 15 percent of blacks 20 years and older have diabetes, a big statistic which could change helping prevent or manage the disease with diet and lifestyle adjustments.
"We have these lifestyle problems. Too much food and food containing too much sugar, high fructose," says Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital. "Think of it as you have your little body organ called the pancreas that is supposed to be producing insulin and you are continually bombarding it with very high amounts of sugar."
Down 35 pounds from 270, Anderson says he plans to drop 20 more pounds through diet and exercise. He hopes more black Americans get the message from his own struggle.
"When I was first diagnosed 10 years ago, I never saw anything about diabetes that spoke to me as a young African-American male," says Anderson. "I would see advertisements about it on television with [actor] Wilford Brimley, [blues musician] B.B. King, [singer] Patti LaBelle, and I was like, 'I'm not who they are talking about, so this shouldn't be happening to me.' Well, it is happening in disproportionate numbers in the black community."
To find out more about the F.A.C.E. Diabetes campaign, visit www.FACE-Diabetes.com.