Anthony Anderson, comedian and star of Black-ish, opens up about his experience managing diabetes and offers his words of advice for others living with this common chronic condition, urging everyone to ask themselves if they’re the healthiest they can be.
What do you want the public to know about diabetes?
People need to understand how important it is that they take care of themselves and get checked for diabetes. They also need to be honest with their doctor and have a real discussion about their diabetes. More importantly, I think people need to be honest and ask themselves if they’re doing all that they can to live the healthiest life possible.
How have you seen diabetes portrayed in the media, and how do you feel it should be portrayed?
A lot of diabetes commercials feature older people like Wilford Brimley, Patti LaBelle, or B.B. King talking about diabetes, and people assume diabetes is an “old person’s disease.” But that’s not true — type 2 diabetes can and does develop in younger people. It’s not just an old person’s disease or an obese person’s disease. Diabetes affects everyone — young, old, skinny, fat, white, Black, and so on. I want people to understand that diabetes can impact anyone.
When did you get diagnosed with diabetes? Was it a shock?
I was first diagnosed with diabetes 19 years ago, and yes, it was a shock. Although I was overweight, I thought that I was healthy as can be — the news of having type 2 diabetes showed me otherwise.
How do you keep your diabetes under control?
I make sure my diabetes is under control by listening and adhering to what my health care professionals prescribe, from medicine to lifestyle changes and exercise. It’s also important to test my glucose level multiple times daily so I can get an accurate trend of what my body is doing based on what I’m eating and how I’m exercising.
How have you seen your diabetes impact you differently as you age?
As I’ve gotten older and wiser, diabetes has taught me to be more conscious of the things that I put into my body. It’s forced me to make healthier choices in life, from what I eat and drink to how I exercise. It’s taught me to be more in tune with my body, to listen to my body, to meditate, and to live and exist as free of stress as possible.
How do diet and exercise play a part in managing your diabetes?
Diet and exercise play a big part in managing my diabetes. The healthier the things I consume, the healthier my body is. Exercise keeps blood circulating and promotes a healthy heart rate to help burn fat. A body in motion stays in motion.