**Reducing Obesity and Diabetes on Guam
Based on statistics released by the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services, more than 60% of Guam’s population is overweight or obese. That level of obesity is contributing to the rapidly escalating numbers of island residents diagnosed with diabetes annually.
On Guam, diabetes is a ticking time bomb that threatens the lives and financial well-being of all island residents. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC); in the United States 180 people an hour die every day due to obesity and lifestyle based diseases. On Guam the death rate for diabetes complications is nearly twice that on the US Mainland. If not halted, the epidemic increases in the
incidence of diabetes over the next decade or two will render even the best resourced health systems unable to meet future demands; unless primary and secondary prevention measures are systematically and promptly applied.
Uncontrolled diabetes often leads to biochemical imbalances causing acute life-threatening events. As many on Guam know, people with diabetes are more
susceptible to other illnesses. Once these illnesses are acquired, they often have worse prognoses and they are more likely to die from heart attacks, strokes
pneumonia, or influenza than people who do not have diabetes.
Education is needed to help Guam’s residents take control of their personal battles with obesity and diabetes. But there are limited diabetes education opportunities for diabetics on Guam. The only active diabetes education programs are sponsored through some of the island’s medical clinics for those lucky enough to have medical insurance coverage. Even for some people with medical insurance, diabetes education programs are not covered by medical insurance.
This program creates a peer based diabetes education program through a series of workshops, educational television show, and webcasts targeting different segments of Guam’s population to complement and extend the efforts of Guam’s medical community to slow and help make dramatic reductions in the growing obesity and diabetes impact numbers.
Diabetes Action Project Contact Information:
Ken Leon-Guerrero, Program Director
Cell Phone: 671/689-3000