For over 50 years, Don Francisco has been delighting Latino audiences on TV as the legendary host of Sabado Gigante and Don Francisco Presenta.

Now, he is using his influence to help launch a new campaign to help dispel the myths surrounding type 2 diabetes and insulin treatment.

Don Francisco Latino TV host
Photo credit: BBC News

The initiative, called Basado en Hechos (Based on Facts), will allow Don Francisco to travel the country and talk about his own experience living with type 2 diabetes. The program was created by a partnership between Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company.

“I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 16 years ago, and at that time I believed many things about diabetes that weren’t correct,” said Don Francisco in a news release. “These misconceptions prevented me from making the best decisions for my health. I joined the Basado en Hechos initiative to share what I’ve learned over the years with the 3.2 million Hispanics in the U.S. living with diabetes.”

Diabetes in Latinos

Overall, nearly 29 million Americans (415 million worldwide) have diabetes. More than 8 million Americans live with undiagnosed diabetes.

Research has long shown that U.S. Latinos face higher rates of diabetes and obesity.

Latinos are more nearly 17% more likely to have diabetes (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) compared to nearly 10% for their white peers, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

“Latino patients with diabetes, even when insured and facing relatively low barriers to healthcare, are much more likely to have poor medication adherence than their white counterparts,” said Dr. Alicia Fernandez, study author of San Francisco General Hospital and the University of California, San Francisco.

Latinos with type 2 diabetes are roughly 1.5 times less likely to adhere to insulin therapy than white patients.

This makes diabetes education critical in the Latino community, said Dr. Dara Schuster, Senior Medical Director at Eli Lilly and Company.

“We are proud to partner with Don Francisco – someone who is incredibly passionate about the cause and deeply connected to the Hispanic community – to help us dispel myths and provide facts to those with diabetes, their caregivers and families so they can make informed decisions about their health and treatment plans,” Schuster said.

Learn more about the Basados en Hecho program here.

Salud Today has extensively covered diabetes and its impact on the Latino community, including:

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