Rishika Dugyala (Junior Guest Correspondent) | Sep 20, 2014
CURE-D is the first Bollywood dance research and intervention study designed for South Asian immigrants in the United States. Success with Zumba and Latin hip-hop to manage diabetes in other populations contributed to this study.
It’s a culturally meaningful dance, and an effective weapon against Type 2 diabetes says, Dr. Latha Palaniappan, medical director of clinical research at Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
24-year-old Natesan, a student at the University of California Berkeley approached Palaniappan with the idea of studying Bollywood dance and diabetes for her master's project.
“My dad died of a heart attack at the age of 39,” says Palaniappan. “Indians have higher rates of heart disease and diabetes. It’s for this reason; I was interested in Natesean’s masters project.
South Asians are four times more likely to be at risk for Type 2 diabetes than any other ethnic group due to a high-carbohydrate cultural diet, genetic susceptibility for insulin resistance and a tendency to favor a sedentary lifestyle, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation website.
“CURE-D is the first exercise program in which South Asians’ engage in a physical activity program that is familiar and proven to help improve diabetes,” says Natesan.
Growing up, Natesan saw high rates of diabetes. Reflecting on how she could encourage South Asians to be more active, led her to her experience as a Bollywood dancer.
Shelly Rojas, an India Community Center instructor who led the dance sessions, has been a personal trainer and instructor for more than ten years.
“When I was asked to do the cure project, I knew I wanted to help. Diabetes runs in my family.”
Sixty-year-old homemaker Deepti Mehta of Fremont California participated in the intervention group. Mehta already completed another program with Palaniappan, which was based nutrition. She knew how beneficial this study would be for her. “Bollywood dance is the most creative and engaging way to exercise. The choreography and songs were easy to relate to. I also noticed an improvement in my endurance and strength.
If you have been thinking about taking a dance class, call the Indian community center in your area to be directed to this fun and energetic class.
Rember Jim Ryan's famous quote, Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.