This time of year is loaded with a hurricane of feelings and many Latinos who decided to leave their countries will always long for a hug from a relative, feel the emotion to choose the ‘premiere’ of Christmas and New Year, breaking a piñata and busting a dance move or two.
All this holiday season and New Year is also accompanied by the jericallas from Guadalajara, the cornbread, the ham bread, the dulce de leche, the Puerto Rican tembleque, the coquito, the buñuelos, la natilla and other indulgences that imminently make us break the promise of losing those extra kilos that cause health effects and that physically do not make us feel comfortable.
If within the traditional twelve grapes of luck that we eat on New Year’s eve, there is the desire to lose weight, that’s fine; However, being in good physical condition, staying fit and being in good health is not a matter of chance. Our lives and those of our loved ones cannot be put in the hands of the omens at the end of the year.
Although the time to take care of health is today and now, some will say “new year, new diet” and it’s not bad; What is really important is to demand compliance with this care, it’s not possible to put the physical fitness as if they were the cabañuelas of our ancestors with which they predicted the weather “if the first of January rains, all January will be rainy.” If I have bad eating habits on the second day of the first month of the year, February will be the same.
The situation is serious and while there are many factors out of our control that contribute to obesity, excess holiday weight gain can be prevented with a little planning, knowledge and discipline. The problems associated with obesity are so stealthy that when we least think about it, we realize that we’ve gone from not fitting into our clothes or feeling a little uncomfortable when we move, to much more serious diseases such as diabetes or hypertension that can develop over time.
According to America’s Health Rankings, 8.9% of the entire Hispanics/Latinos, population in the state of Wisconsin have diabetes, compared to the total population and coincide with the Department of Health Services when it affirms this same community in Wisconsin has the Highest rate of death from diabetes, compared to the total population of the United States in the Midwest.
The solid numbers indicate that diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the country in 2019, with 87,647 deaths per year. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or stroke as those without diabetes. There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational (diabetes during pregnancy).
Type 1 is generally diagnosed in children and teenagers, it’s controlled through diet, physical activity, insulin, and is typically genetic. Type 2 diabetes develops when the pancreas makes less insulin than the body needs, and the body cells stop responding to insulin. They develop what is known as insulin resistance, because the cells don’t take in sugar as they should and as a result, sugar builds up in the blood. Although not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, obesity and an inactive lifestyle are two of the most common causes of type 2 diabetes. These things are responsible for about 90% to 95% of diabetes cases in the United States.
However, all is not lost. Diabetes can be prevented with some small habit changes around diet and physical activity and you don’t have to do it alone! Those who are going through a difficult situation caused by that extra body fat, have a great alternative, it’s a research study of nutrition and weight loss organized by the University of Wisconsin focused on helping people to develop habits for a healthier lifestyle.
Log2Lose, is the name of the program led by Dr. Corrine Voils who seeks to bring more and more people to demonstrate with scientific evidence that through healthy habits, better results can be achieved.
Luriann Gómez from Puerto Rico, currently living in Wisconsin, is already part of a similar research study and affirms that it has been a positive and enriching experience “I have managed to learn many things about how to lead a better lifestyle. By entering this program, I put an end to that weight gain and loss of yo-yo diets, and I began to have an active physical life. “
Gomez does not deny that there are times when she feels like she wants to quit, but with the support she receives from the organization Log2Lose, her family and husband; she picks up more momentum and keeps going.
Valentina Castaño, an American student at UW- Madison with Colombian roots, works on this project and told La Comunidad News and MadisoVibra that she feels very honored to be able to help the Latino community with options based on science and experience. “We want to encourage people to participate in this research study to demonstrate that through exercise routines and movement in their homes, extreme changes can be achieved.”
Gabriela Sánchez, also an American student at UW- Madison with Mexican roots who is trilingual, she also works on this project and assures that, “You will not regret joining the program and starting a change in your life, today I copilot nutrition meetings for participants and help in different aspects of the study. I’d love to be able to work alongside you during your weight loss journey”.
“I feel very happy and fortunate to be able to be part of such an important investigation with such professional doctors,” said Sánchez.
Both Valentina and Gabriela extend the invitation for anyone who wants to change their eating habits, improve their lifestyle and prevent the arrival of serious diseases, join this initiative through this link https: //log2lose.nursing.duke .edu / join-us or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and there they will receive all the relevant information. Additionally, be on the lookout for flyers advertising the study around the community and online.
“The Latino community has many opportunities to be part of the project since it is very important that there is diversity in medical studies to reflect the rich diversity of our country. Having studies that generate information that help break down barriers and disparities are important because the studies can take into consideration a wide range of people and not just one group”, Gabriela explained.
Like Luriann, Log2Lose is looking for 350 individuals for the study over the next few years. There they will have virtual classes in nutrition, physical activity and follow up phone calls with a registered dietitian. The next cohort begins March 2022 so sign up to reserve your spot!
The magic of Christmas and the New Year is enchanting, however, the gifts, the material things, the broken promises while we try to eat the 12 grapes, the wishes in the typical toast with Poblana Cider are worth nothing; if in real life we do not try to take care of our health and that of those we love.
The only thing left for us is to pitch in and start changing habits to share with our loved ones. The time for change is now.