A new online game called HealthSeeker™ Explorando tu Salud, Paso a Paso is now available to the 10 million Latino and Hispanic users on Facebook®, with the goal of helping this population with lifestyle and nutritional tips to manage their diabetes. To mark the recent World Diabetes Day on November 14, the introduction of HealthSeeker™ aims to provide the growing number of Latinos and Hispanics with diabetes a unique online experience that combines a supportive social network with important information on living with the disease.

HealthSeeker™ encourages players to enlist Facebook® 'Friends' as sources of inspiration and ongoing encouragement in improving their understanding and management of diabetes. Facebook® is the fourth most popular website among Latinos, reaching nearly 45 percent of all Latinos that are online.

"World Diabetes Day is a perfect time to educate the diabetes community about their health," said Manny Hernandez, president, Diabetes Hands Foundation, who has been living with diabetes since 2002. "I know how much having support of friends and family both online and offline can mean to those living with a chronic disease, particularly Latinos."

Obesity and physical inactivity are the main risk factors for diabetes among Latino and Hispanic Americans. HealthSeeker™ motivates users to take on simple, everyday challenges, such as adding more fiber, fruit and vegetables to their diets or increasing their daily activity, to help achieve their lifestyle goals.

"I am passionate about helping Latinos battle diabetes and its risk factors and am always looking for new ways to motivate my patients," said Dr. Enrique Caballero, endocrinologist, investigator and director, Joslin Latino Diabetes Initiative. "This innovative game has a lot of potential to help people with diabetes make more informed lifestyle decisions."

There are missions, misiones, and action steps, los pasos a seguir, to help players achieve several lifestyle goals, metas de estilo de vida. The missions and action steps that players select must be completed in order to advance in the game. The lifestyle goals include eating healthier, achieving an optimal weight, lowering blood sugar levels and lowering cardiovascular risk factors. As action steps are completed and players return to report their progress, they receive experience points and other "awards" for their achievements.

HealthSeeker™ can be accessed free of charge at www.ExplorandoTuSalud.org.

Source: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Press Release

Article originally posted by DiabetesCare.net on November 17, 2010