Cedric the Entertainer Talks Diabetes

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Cedric the Entertainer Talks Diabetes

Comedian reveals how his parents have him focused on health

Diabetes is no laughing matter for Cedric the Entertainer. The actor and comedian recently joined forces with Pfizer and the American Diabetes Association for a new initiative called Step On Up to raise awareness about diabetic nerve pain. African Americans in particular, he points out, are 70 percent more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than other races.

“With my dad, who has type 2 diabetes, it was something that we noticed back in 2010 where he was slowing down and coming up with excuses of doing the things he likes to do,” Cedric told the the Huffington Post. “We didn’t know this pain was directly related to his diabetes. And so we just kind of figured that this is common within the African-American community that people have these other symptoms. And so I just found this as a great opportunity to partner up and be able to spread this message.”

Through his advocacy, the “Soul Man” star hopes to dispel some of the myths surrounding diabetes, like fear of lower-leg amputations, which keep folks from getting the treatment they need. “Most people are really afraid of the amputations,” he says. “They assume that further checks will lead to the amputation of a leg or something. Being ahead of it is more important.”

Young people aren’t exempt from educating themselves about diabetes, he says. “People think that they’re too young for it.” HuffPo points to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s 2011 study, which says that 16 percent of people living with diabetes were diagnosed between the ages of 18 and 39 years old.

For more about Cedric’s health advocacy, go to BET.

Evelyn Diaz/BET.com