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This story is Part 8 of a 15-part series that examines health care needs in Gary, Ind.

Gary resident Teresa Johnson said she recognizes the woman in the “before” pictures and remembers her pain.

Johnson, 50, who worked with developmentally disabled adults in Lake and Porter counties before becoming disabled, said she has been overweight all her life.

“I had very little success losing weight on my own,” she said. “I’d lose weight and then gain it right back. But last year I needed a knee replacement surgery and didn’t want to have it while I was still morbidly obese.”

Picture of Pedro Frisneda

For many Mexican immigrants living in New York, working multiple jobs leaves little time for regular exercise. In addition, a heavy reliance on public transportation and a lack of rural areas means that physical activity is virtually nonexistent. Health experts cite this sedentary lifestyle as an emerging gateway to diabetes, especially among immigrants.

This story was originally published in Spanish. Below is the English translation.

Picture of Pedro Frisneda

With limited access to affordable fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods, Mexicans living in New York are frequenting fast food restaurants instead of farmers' markets. The result is a spike in obesity and diabetes among this immigrant group.

This story was originally published in Spanish. Below is the English translation.

Part 3: In a sedentary country

Picture of Pedro Frisneda

"It's the alcohol hangover," Gerardo Cuapio thought five years ago when he woke up thirsty and with blurred vision. National Health Journalism Fellow Pedro Frisneda tells the story of a man who was on the verge of death without knowing he had Type 2 diabetes. It's a cautionary tale for what happens to many Latin American immigrants who move to the United States, adopting a new lifestyle and diet that can contribute to developing the disease. "The Big Apple is confronting one of the worst diabetes epidemics in the nation and health authorities have declared it an emergency," with Hispanics suffering disproportionately.

This story was originally published in Spanish. Below is the English translation.

Part 2: In the kingdom of fats and sugar

Part 3: In a sedentary country

Picture of William Heisel

A good friend of mine read my recent posts about Andrew Wakefield and the controversy over whether vaccines have any role in causing autism and asked me whether I was concerned for my safety.

Picture of Frank Sotomayor

As the list of patients in need of organ transplants continues to grow, Vietnamese communities in Southern California are urged to consider becoming organ donors.

Picture of Angilee Shah

Dr. Rishi Manchanda wants to practice smart medicine. From a clinic in South Los Angeles, he told the California Health Journalism Fellows, "It is not smart to take a cockroach out of an ear and just send that child home," Manchanda says.

Picture of Pedro Frisneda
When I was selected to be part of The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship program back in June 2010, I had three story ideas I wanted to develop for my fellowship projects. They involved three major health problems affecting the Latino community in the United States: health disparities of Latino women, diabetes and obesity among Mexican immigrants and Latinos affected by HIV/AIDS.
Picture of William Heisel

Last week Antidote introduced you to Dr. Steven Balt, the rare physician to have the courage to open up about his personal experiences with the physician discipline system. The first part of our interview was posted last week. The last part is below.

Picture of Frank Sotomayor

This piece focused on Los Angeles’ ethnic communities: How they are key to increasing organ donations and, on the other side, how they benefit from these life-saving procedures. I wanted to establish a human connection right away — to show how a donated organ can help an individual who is very ill, almost to the point of dying. Through my reporting, I’ve also learned that donation helps the donor family by providing consolation for the loss. As a number of donor families have told me: “My loved one lives on, helping another person to stay alive.” With the help of OneLegacy, the organ donation agency for the L.A. area, I made contact with a donor’s parents and the recipient of a donated kidney that brought him back to health. That gave me my lead. Then, I described how OneLegacy is working to raise awareness about organ donation in the area’s three primary ethnic communities: Latino, Asian and African American. Together, these groups make up more than 60% of the population served by OneLegacy in Southern California. With the help of OPTN media specialists, I determined that these groups also make up about the same proportion of organ donors and organ recipients. The piece was posted on LA Beez, an online collaboration of ethnic media outlets. It was a pleasure to work with editor Jerry Sullivan and website specialist Kevin Chan.

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