Health + Fitness

Inner city must wake up about harms of diabetes

I gave my first speech in the city of Detroit about health and fitness and organizers apologized for the poor turnout.

Inner city people do not care enough about health. You can see it in their diet. You can see it in the way they look. But that’s OK. If I reached one person that day then it was worth my trip to the east side. But here are some numbers people should consider.

More than 4,100 people per day are diagnosed with diabetes. Most of them are in the inner city. One of the doctors sited those numbers during a speech I gave earlier this week at the Save a Limb, Save a Life function at the MGM Grand Hotel. He also said 230 people on average go blind each day in our country because of diabetes; about 11 percent African Americans will get the disease and 60 percent of Native Americans.

Those are staggering numbers. The disease is reaching epidemic stages in the inner city and it is estimated that one in three children born in the next couple years will become diabetic. We must do something to slow this disease.

The doctors wanted me to give them ideas on how to prevent their patients from disappearing. Normally when doctors tell a patient they are diabetic, that person disappears. That is foolish and dangerous. Often when they see the patient again they are having eye problems, kidney failure or tingling in the feet and hands.

The people at SAL/SAL are doing tremendous work to help people avoid amputation. They have saved hundreds of legs and toes over the years and the group is getting bigger, stronger and hopefully will gain more publicity.

They will continue to do their things in the medical arena and I will continue to speak out no matter how small my audience.

(Foster can be reached at Terry.Foster@detnews.com or 313-222-1494. Follow him on twitter at TerryFoster971.)