Diabetes Introduction: A Message from Dr. James R. Gavin III: Chair of the African American Program for the American Diabetes Association. (Special Section)

Article excerpt

WE are three months into 2002 and I have to ask: How are your New ar s resolutions going? Remember when midnight hit and you celebrated by promising to lose those extra pounds? You said that this year would be THE year. Again. Well, it's March. Has the Today Show replaced your early-morning walk? What about that kick-boxing class you eagerly embraced way back in January--has it been kicked to the curb by reruns of The West Wing?

For most of us, making resolutions are easy, but sticking to them, well, that's another thing entirely. It's easy to fall back into old habits, even when you know they are harmful to your health. However, starting today, I challenge you to dust off the promises you made to yourself and recommit to improving your health and changing your life. Take Calvin C. Walker Jr., for example, the Colorado man who watched his weight balloon to more than 250 pounds and saw his diabetes spiral out of control. Read the story on Page 132 to find out how he resolved to transform himself--and did!

As an African American, Walker's struggle with diabetes is not unique; he is merely one of the millions of African Americans who have this life-threatening condition. Chances are that this epidemic has not skipped your family. In this year's special section, find out why diabetes is so common in African Americans and learn which factors have contributed to its rise. Also, take a look at the "Most Frequently Asked Questions about Diabetes" and discover some of the truths about this disease that may surprise you. Feeling tired? Thirsty? These are two warning signs of diabetes. If you haven't already taken the Diabetes Risk Test, please do so and pass it along to your friends or loved ones. …