Study: Health coaches may be crucial in fighting against diabetes in Asians

Chinese Americans are diagnosed with diabetes at more than twice the rate of the general population. Fifteen percent of Chinese Americans are diagnosed with diabetes, compared to six percent of all Americans. This rate is five times higher than the rate in China.

A soon-to-be-released Bay Area study on diabetes among Chinese Americans has found that health care coaches, who are advisers that work with patients on their nutrition and exercise programs, could be crucial in controlling the disease.

The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Asian Health Services, and University of California, Berkeley, collaborated to form a medical team to study the treatment of diabetes among Chinese Americans. A doctor, a health coach, and a nutritionist were assigned to the treatment group.

The coaches helped patients with their medication. They also helped patients develop plans, lifestyle changes, and better diets. The coaches met with them for 30 to 60 minutes every two weeks.

The study found that after six months, patients under the guidance of health care coaches had blood sugar levels more under control than patients who didn’t have consultations. ♦

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