Commentary: Reconsidering the Role of Context in Diabetes Prevention

Ethn Dis. 2017 Jan 19;27(1):63-68. doi: 10.18865/ed.27.1.63.


A substantial gap remains between what we know about type 2 diabetes prevention and our ability to apply that knowledge in socially disadvantaged populations at highest risk. This gap results, in part, from a lack of integration between epidemiologic science and social psychology theory, particularly regarding the intersections of stress, self-regulatory health behaviors, and the biological mechanisms underlying the development of diabetes. In this commentary, we describe the utility of a theoretical framework that focuses on the intersection of biological, psychosocial, and environmental contexts as they apply to diabetes disparities, and how such a framework could inform a translational research agenda to reorient prevention efforts to address these inequalities. Such reorientation is needed to ensure that the implementation of prevention efforts does not inadvertently widen diabetes disparities.

Keywords: Diabetes; Diabetes Prevention; Health Behavior; Inequalities; Mental Health.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blacks*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Environment
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • United States
  • Whites*