ATLANTA: The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is reaching out to the Hispanic community and encouraging healthy eating through a new campaign it launched Monday, January 12. "Más que comida, es vida" ("It's more than food, it's life") is a bilingual program targeting Hispanics with diabetes, their families, and healthcare workers.
"The whole purpose of the campaign is to help dispel the misunderstandings about healthy eating and to teach ‘Hispano-Latinos' how to adopt a tasty, but nutritional meal plan, while maintaining the cultural uniqueness of our food," said Betsy Rodriguez, acting deputy director for NDEP. The NDEP is a partnership of the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more than 200 public and private organizations.
The NDEP has been planning the campaign for three years in coordination with its AOR FH (Fleishman-Hillard) Multicultural. It is working with organizations such as National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the American Diabetes Association, and National Council of La Raza to coordinate a local presence in states such as Arizona, New Mexico, New York, and Georgia.
Online, the NDEP has "Más que comida" resources like recipe books, posters, and more tools for people living with diabetes.
The NDEP is also reaching out to dieticians, health educators, diabetes educators, and health care professionals by partnering with Dr. Rosalba Ruiz-Holguin, who works with the Pan American Health Association, and Maria Lemus, a community health worker well-known in the Hispanic community.
"The recipe booklet and planner [is] for the person living with the condition and their families, and the poster can be used by healthcare professionals," said Rodriguez, who is trained as a nurse and diabetes educator.
The NDEP worked with nutritionists to develop recipes for popular Latino dishes, like chicken with rice and the Colombian stew pozole.
Rodriguez said the timing of the campaign was perfect, because people are more willing to work on their eating habits at the beginning of the year.
"Everyone is making resolutions about the way they eat and lose weight, and things like that," Rodriguez said. "We're going to take that opportunity."