Viola Davis talks battle with prediabetes in new documentary 'A Touch of Sugar'

TRIBECA, Manhattan (WABC) -- The stars of a new documentary, "A Touch of Sugar," are regular folks from all walks of life, but narrator Viola Davis is well-known to all of us.

"More than 30 million American adults are living with diabetes," Davis says in the film.

The new film by the Oscar winner and star of ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder" is rooted in her past.

"I was born in St. Matthews, South Carolina," she said. "And that's how you knew you had a diabetes diagnosis...if you had the 'sugar.'"

Davis said two of her sisters have the disease. Her Great Aunt Bessie was diagnosed with diabetes, lost both of her legs and was confined to a wheelchair for decades.

During the run of her series, Davis was diagnosed with prediabetes, indicating a blood sugar level that's higher than normal.

"I did," Davis said about changing her lifestyle as a result of the health condition. "I really have to control my sugar intake."

The star notes that on set there's always plenty of food available.

"And when you're in the 18th hour of work, you just say, 'OK, I'm going to make a healthy choice, so I'll just load up on about 50,000 grapes,'" she said.

Davis warns that each case is different.

"It's very important to go to a health care provider," she said.

Davis has teamed up with the pharmaceutical company Merck to try and educate others, as she has been educated.

"I do whatever I can, because I want to live for my daughter," she said about her 8-year-old daughter Genesis.

Viola Davis is one of a staggering 84 million Americans with prediabetes, which means they're at risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes -- the most common form of the disease.

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