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obesity

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This racial group includes any of the original peoples of North, South and Central America who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment. The five leading causes of death among American Indians and Alaska Natives are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, diabetes and chronic liver disease/cirrhosis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities. Native Americans suffer disproportionately high rates of obesity, infant mortality, mental health problems and substance abuse.

Picture of Megan Chao

As of 2007, almost 8 percent of Americans – nearly 24 million people – suffer from diabetes, a serious and chronic condition that can lead to complications such as blindness, amputations or even death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About a quarter of them don't know they have the disease. In recent years, rising obesity rates have been linked to a striking rise in the number of Type 2 diabetes cases, particularly among children and teens.

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Native Americans experience higher disease rates than other Americans for problems ranging from diabetes and heart ailments to mental illness and suicides, which contribute to their lower life expectancy. Get tips from a veteran journalist for covering these health issues.

Picture of Don Finley

Obesity is visible — walk down the street and you bump into it. Diabetes, on the other hand, is silent and tragic. Here are tips for reporting on the links between them.

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Get the latest updates from top experts and a leading journalist tracking the story, as well as crucial context and insights for reporting responsibly on this fast-moving public health threat in our next webinar on Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. Sign-up here!

Got a great idea for a reporting project on vulnerable families or health disparities?  We'll help fund it, and provide you with five days of all-expenses-paid training at USC in July, plus six months of mentoring. Click here for more information.

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