By: Daniel Trecroci
To look at actor Mark Consuelos, the first thing youwould think is that he is a man who has it all. He’syoung, good looking, healthy, an accomplished actor,married to another television star and the father of threechildren.
The last thing you would think is that he is a candidatefor developing type 2 diabetes. He is, however. Not onlyis Consuelos Hispanic—an ethnicity with a very highincidence of type 2—he also has a strong family historyof type 2. His father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetesseven years ago. Mark’s grandfather, great aunt, aunt andcousin also have type 2.
Taking Diabetes to the Streets
All of this inspired Consuelos to lead a healthy life andto take on a new role as a spokesperson for diabetesawareness. Earlier this year, Consuelos teamed up withAbbott Diabetes Care—the maker of Glucerna bars andshakes and the FreeStyle Flash blood glucose meter—tolaunch the “Taking Diabetes Freedom to the Streets” tour.The 22-city tour, which began in Dallas, Texas, and endsthis December in New York City, asks attendees to take the“Diabetes Freedom” pledge as the first step in committingto a healthier lifestyle through regular exercise, propernutrition and frequent blood glucose monitoring.
“The Diabetes Freedom Pledge is a commitment tomanage diabetes or help others manage their conditionyear-round,” Consuelos told Diabetes Health. “People who take the pledge will be offered valuable tools,including a guide to eating well with diabetes; a quarterlynewsletter with the latest health, nutrition and fitnessinformation; and blood glucose-monitoring informationto help people get on their way to successfully managingdiabetes.”
Father a Type 2 for Seven Years
Consuelos decided to join the Diabetes Freedom effort becauseof the way that diabetes has personally affected him.
“There is a history of type 2diabetes in my family, and beingHispanic, I am twice as likely todevelop the condition,” says Consuelos.“My father has been living with diabetesfor seven years. That’s why I teamed upwith the makers of Glucerna and FreeStyle.I am committed to sharing my family’spositive approach to managing their diabetessuccessfully and hope others will be inspired totake the Diabetes Freedom Pledge and committo a healthier lifestyle.”
Consuelos says his father successfully managestype 2 through proper nutrition, regular exerciseand frequent blood glucose monitoring.
“Because he manages his condition, my father isable to participate in activities such as aerobics,weight training and taking walks with hisgrandchildren.”
Consuelos, while pleased with his father’s efforts totake care of himself, has also seen the detrimentaleffects of diabetes.
“My grandfather passed away due tocomplications related to diabetes.”
Doing His Best to Prevent Type 2
Consuelos understands that having type 2 is adifficult proposition, but being a family memberof someone with type 2 is no walk in the park,either.
“As someone who has family members withthe condition, it’s always in the back of yourmind. But the good news is you can managethe condition,” says Consuelos, who does hisbest to stave off developing type 2 by makingproper nutrition and eating right a priority. Headds that he also works out regularly, playssoftball, soccer and golf and makes yearlytrips to the doctor for a physical.
Consuelos encourages type 2s and theirloved ones to learn more about diabetesand 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 ahealthier lifestyle that includes diet, exercise and regular blood glucosemonitoring by taking the Diabetes Freedom pledge and committing todiabetes management 365 days a year. Those who take the pledge willreceive a guide to eating well with diabetes; a quarterly newsletter withthe latest health, nutrition and fitness information; and blood glucose-monitoringinformation.
To take the Diabetes Freedom pledge, log on to www.diabetesfreedom.com orcall (800) 986-8935.