Latinos are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. This Phoenix program takes a community approach

By Kathy Ritchie
Published: Monday, November 20, 2023 - 7:30am
Updated: Monday, November 20, 2023 - 7:37am

kids at a table
Every Little Step Counts
Latino families who enroll in Every Little Step Counts take classes on nutrition and exercise. It's a free, year-long course offered through St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix.

Latinos are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So, how do you educate a community about their risk?

It starts by creating a bilingual, culturally-grounded approach to prevention. And that’s exactly what Every Little Step Counts aims to do. Elvia Lish is the director for the Ivy Center for Family Wellness at St. Vincent De Paul.

"We started the program because here at St. Vincent Paul's medical clinic, we were seeing a higher population, children, youth being referred to the program for obesity related conditions," she explained. 

Lish says factors like income, access to health care, dietary habits and family history tend to put Latinos at higher risk for Type 2 diabetes. Every Little Step Counts is a yearlong program where families learn about nutrition and exercise, and so far it seems to be making a difference.

 "Sixty-seven percent of the participants with pre-diabetes were no longer pre-diabetic after participating in Every Little Step Counts," Lish said.

This prevention program is free. 

Two people cook at a counter
Every Little Step Counts
A cooking class as part of the Every Little Step Counts program at St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix.

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