In the UK African and Caribbean people are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes. It occurs in younger people than for the rest of the population, with worse control when it is first diagnosed, and more African and Caribbean people die from illnesses associated with diabetes.
Primary care for type 2 diabetes management involves diet and lifestyle education, which is proven to be effective in helping control diabetes, promoting healthy body weight and reducing the risk of heart disease. Care is intended to empower and enable patients to improve their lifestyle and manage their diabetes through support and education. However specific cultural barriers may limit access to health care and contribute to poorer outcomes for African and Caribbean patients. For example, African and Caribbean patients criticise advice for not being relevant to their culture and the dietary advice for lacking inclusion of cultural foods.
Culturally tailored lifestyle programmes are more effective in helping people with type 2 diabetes to manage their condition, than standard education but to date have only been developed for African American communities in the USA.