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To look at actor Mark Consuelos, the first thing you would think is that he is a man who has it all. He’s young, good looking, healthy, an accomplished actor, married to another television star and the father of three children.
The last thing you would think is that he is a candidate for developing type 2 diabetes. He is, however. Not only is Consuelos Hispanic—an ethnicity with a very high incidence of type 2—he also has a strong family history of type 2. His father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes seven years ago. Mark’s grandfather, great aunt, aunt and cousin also have type 2.
Taking Diabetes to the Streets
All of this inspired Consuelos to lead a healthy life and to take on a new role as a spokesperson for diabetes awareness. Earlier this year, Consuelos teamed up with Abbott Diabetes Care—the maker of Glucerna bars and shakes and the FreeStyle Flash blood glucose meter—to launch the “Taking Diabetes Freedom to the Streets” tour. The 22-city tour, which began in Dallas, Texas, and ends this December in New York City, asks attendees to take the “Diabetes Freedom” pledge as the first step in committing to a healthier lifestyle through regular exercise, proper nutrition and frequent blood glucose monitoring.
“The Diabetes Freedom Pledge is a commitment to manage diabetes or help others manage their condition year-round,” Consuelos told Diabetes Health. “People who take the pledge will be offered valuable tools, including a guide to eating well with diabetes; a quarterly newsletter with the latest health, nutrition and fitness information; and blood glucose-monitoring information to help people get on their way to successfully managing diabetes.”
Father a Type 2 for Seven Years
Consuelos decided to join the Diabetes Freedom effort because of the way that diabetes has personally affected him.
“There is a history of type 2 diabetes in my family, and being Hispanic, I am twice as likely to develop the condition,” says Consuelos. “My father has been living with diabetes for seven years. That’s why I teamed up with the makers of Glucerna and FreeStyle. I am committed to sharing my family’s positive approach to managing their diabetes successfully and hope others will be inspired to take the Diabetes Freedom Pledge and commit to a healthier lifestyle.”
Consuelos says his father successfully manages type 2 through proper nutrition, regular exercise and frequent blood glucose monitoring.
“Because he manages his condition, my father is able to participate in activities such as aerobics, weight training and taking walks with his grandchildren.”
Consuelos, while pleased with his father’s efforts to take care of himself, has also seen the detrimental effects of diabetes.
“My grandfather passed away due to complications related to diabetes.”
Doing His Best to Prevent Type 2
Consuelos understands that having type 2 is a difficult proposition, but being a family member of someone with type 2 is no walk in the park, either.
“As someone who has family members with the condition, it’s always in the back of your mind. But the good news is you can manage the condition,” says Consuelos, who does his best to stave off developing type 2 by making proper nutrition and eating right a priority. He adds that he also works out regularly, plays softball, soccer and golf and makes yearly trips to the doctor for a physical.
Consuelos encourages type 2s and their loved ones to learn more about diabetes and its symptoms by logging on to www.diabetesfreedom.com.
Mark Consuelos is an Emmy-nominated actor who currently can be seen as Antonio Cortez on Lifetime Television’s “Missing.” He also played the part of Mateo Santos on the daytime drama “All My Children,” where he met his wife, Kelly Ripa.
Consuelos has been awarded two consecutive American Latino Media Arts Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama.
Other credits include appearances on the TV programs “Hope & Faith,” “Beautiful Girl,” “Third Watch,” “Friends,” “American Family,” “Fortune Hunter” and “SeaQuest.”
Consuelos will appear in the World War II action film “The Great Raid,” which also stars Benjamin Bratt and James Franco.
He lives in New York City with Kelly and their children, Michael, Lola and Joaquin.
In March 2005, the “Taking Diabetes Freedom to the Streets” tour began in Dallas, Texas, making stops in 22 cities across the country before ending in New York City, December 14, 2005. The goal of the tour is to encourage Americans living with diabetes to experience “Diabetes Freedom” and to offer them a new outlook on managing the condition.
According to Abbott Diabetes Care, attendees are encouraged to adopt a healthier lifestyle that includes diet, exercise and regular blood glucose monitoring by taking the Diabetes Freedom pledge and committing to diabetes management 365 days a year. Those who take the pledge will receive a guide to eating well with diabetes; a quarterly newsletter with the latest health, nutrition and fitness information; and blood glucose-monitoring information.
To take the Diabetes Freedom pledge, log on to www.diabetesfreedom.com or call (800) 986-8935.
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.