Latina women who do not feel social support have a harder time making healthy lifestyle choices to help their diabetes.

More About Latina Women, Diabetes and Social Support

Latinos with type 2 diabetes who manage their diabetes well generally have a lot of social support, healthy lifestyle habits, and high levels of independence. However, these factors might look different for Latino women versus men. This can impact their ability to manage their diabetes.

One way in which women and men are different is the level of social support they receive. Latino men are more likely to receive support in managing their diabetes and engaging in healthy behaviors than women. Latina women in this study felt they received lower levels of support than what they wanted to receive. Women would often report that their family discouraged them from eating healthy and exercising regularly. However, men did not face these same challenges as often.

Cultural factors create this difference between Latino men and women. For example, traditional gender roles and the importance of family can play a big role. For Latina women, family responsibilities may be prioritized over their individual needs and personal goals. In this case, a woman’s personal goals might include eating healthier food and exercising regularly. As a result, Latina women were less self-confident in achieving their goals compared to men. In addition, women were less likely to take care of themselves.

Lack of support is a huge barrier for Latina women with diabetes. These important sex differences among Latinos with type 2 diabetes could explain why Latina women have a higher risk of poor glycemic control. In summary, Latina women  receive less support and face more barriers compared to men. Ultimately, this can lead to less self-care and self-efficacy for women.

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