Breastfeeding as a Primary Diabetes Prevention Strategy Among Low-Income Latina Women

  • Elena Guzman California State University, Fullerton
  • Shari McMahan California State University, Fullerton


Type 2 diabetes is a serious illness affecting more than 20 million Americans; if left untreated it can lead to life threatening complications such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Efforts to prevent the onset or delay the complications of diabetes are urgently needed particularly among Mexican Americans who are 1.7 times more likely to develop diabetes. Medical professionals agree that diabetes may be prevented through proper diet and exercise. A growing body of evidence suggest that the risk of diabetes may also be reduced among women who breastfeed. New research shows that women who breastfeed exclusively are less likely to develop diabetes. However, despite the many known benefits of breastfeeding, rates are declining particularly among low- income Latina women. Focus groups were conducted with low-income women participating in the Women Infants and Children Program (WIC) to assess their knowledge and perceptions of breastfeeding. It was found that all focus group participants would be more likely to breastfeed if they knew it reduced their risk of diabetes. As a result of this study, an educational handout was then developed to promote breastfeeding as a diabetes prevention strategy among low-income Latina women.
How to Cite
Guzman, E., & McMahan, S. (2007). Breastfeeding as a Primary Diabetes Prevention Strategy Among Low-Income Latina Women. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 5(3), 1-11.

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