On the heels of wrapping on black-ish, actor Anthony Anderson is keeping himself busy by returning to NBC’s Law & Order while also working to raise awareness about diabetes.
The Emmy-nominated actor is known for entertaining audiences on the big and small screen. While rising up the ranks in Hollywood, Anderson has also been living with type 2 diabetes — but stands as a shining example of how to successfully manage the disease without losing your eyesight or a limb.
Having lived with type 2 diabetes for more than 20 years, Anderson knows firsthand the importance of a healthy diet, exercise, and taking medication as prescribed by his doctor. Followers of the Hustle & Flow star have seen him using his platform to encourage the masses to get real about diabetes.
In partnership with Novo Nordisk’s Get Real About Diabetes, Anderson launched the awareness campaign, focused on encouraging those with chronic health conditions to consult their doctor and loved ones to address and manage diabetes successfully.
Anderson opened up about his experience and the reality that people with type 2 diabetes are at risk of cardiovascular disease and have a four times greater risk of heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular death.
“I partnered with Novo Nordisk five years ago; I’ve been a type two diabetic for 21 years now, lost my father to complications of diabetes, and didn’t want to do the same thing with my family,” Anderson told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
“More importantly, I didn’t want this to happen, to continue to happen, within our community.”
Anderson shares his challenges managing diabetes while encouraging “real talk” for people living with type 2 diabetes as part of the campaign.
His hope is “to spread information to the Black and Brown community, and to give information about prevention, what it’s like to live with diabetes, the questions that you should ask your doctors and create content so that people could see and understand what it’s all about,” he explained.
Anderson recalls initially being in denial like many others when first learning about his diagnosis over two decades ago.
“[I] was not being real with myself, thinking that, ‘Oh, I can get over this,’” he admitted. “‘I just got the sugars, I can watch it, I just drink some water, less Kool-Aid, I can get rid of the sugars.’ Well, 21 years later, I still haven’t gotten rid of the sugars.”
Anderson tackled the condition on an episode of black-ish as another way of raising awareness. The actor has been dedicated to getting others to “get real” about the long-lasting chronic condition and how they can live happy and healthy lives despite their diagnosis.
“It’s about listening to the doctors staying on task, and a part of the plan that they put together,” he said.
“It’s about lifestyle change, making healthier choices, getting into the gym.”
He also notes the importance of mental health.
“Mental health was just as important. Taking yoga, meditating, grounding myself in the morning, before I start my day by walking out in my backyard, barefoot, you know, things like that,” he said.
Most importantly, “it’s about getting that information out and pointing people in the right direction.”
Visit getrealaboutdiabetes.com for more information.