Rate of diabetes in the RGV remains high, health officials urging healthy habits

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Diabetes is about 27 percent in the Valley, which is very high. It’s almost three times as high as the general populations of the United States.

A disease that is high among residents in the Rio Grande Valley.

Dr. Joseph McCormick, who’s the Dean of the UTRGV School of Public Health in Brownsville, said those who are diagnosed to have pre-diabetes are 32 percent, which means that people are not at that the level of disease, but are heading towards that direction.

“Not only the prevalence of diabetes is very high but the risk is also high because about six percent of those who have pre-diabetes each year go to diabetes,” McCormick said.

According to McCormick, a huge contributing factor to having diabetes is the lifestyle. That’s why it’s important to not only stay physically active, but incorporate healthy eating habits especially among our youth.

“We shouldn’t take this fatalistic view that because my mother, my grandmother had diabetes then I will get diabetes. It is a risk factor but it’s not if you take seriously what you eat and how much physical activity you do,” McCormick said.

He explained if you replace your lifestyle with healthy habits you will be able to prevent diseases, like diabetes and even cancer.

Right now, Cameron County and the City of Brownsville have been making efforts to get the public up and moving by adding more bike trails and parks.

“That’s when you’re healthy, when you’re not sick, when you don’t have none of these chronic conditions, high blood or diabetes. That’s when you’re healthy and you live the best lifestyle you can,” he said.

For more information on diabetes he encourages the public to reach out to local organizations like Salud y Vida, a program in UTRGV to help those monitor their diabetes and education on the disease.

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