Fight Obesity, Prevent Diabetes
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has designated November 14 as World Diabetes Day to help raise awareness of the health risks of Diabetes around the world.
According to the IDF, obesity and type 2 diabetes currently threaten the health, well-being and economic welfare of virtually every country in the world as the prevalence of obesity is rising to epidemic proportions in both developed and developing countries worldwide. According to the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), up to 2 billion of the world’s population is already at an increased risk of weight-related non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Overweight and obesity are increasingly affecting children and adolescents, resulting in more and more children being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, until recently a disease more frequently associated with adults and the elderly.
The message is simple, lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and being physically active are effective in delaying and, in many cases, preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes, and reducing the risk of developing complications in people with diabetes. It is estimated that at least half of all cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented if weight gain in adults could be avoided.
Facts about Obesity and Diabetes:
- There are 200 million people with diabetes worldwide. This figure is projected to rise to 330 million by 2025, largely due to population growth, aging, urbanization and a sedentary lifestyle.
- At least 50% of all people with diabetes are unaware of their condition. In some countries this figure may rise to 80%.
- Diabetes is the fourth main cause of death in most developed countries. Recent figures from the World Health Organization indicate that 3.2 million deaths worldwide are attributable to diabetes every year, that’s 6 deaths per minute.
- People with diabetes are three times more likely to require hospitalization than those without the condition.
- Currently, 5 to 10% of the world’s healthcare budget is spent on diabetes.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of death due to heart attack and stroke, and the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure in developed countries.
- People with diabetes are 14 – 40 times more likely to require a lower limb amputation compared with the general population.
- Obesity is the main modifiable risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
- Overweight is now the most common medical condition of childhood.
- Obesity can reduce the life expectancy of people with type 2 diabetes by up to eight years.
- 80% of people are overweight when they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
- Lifestyle interventions, including diet and moderate physical activity can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 60%.
What You Can Do
While type 2 diabetes can be a devastating illness, it is highly treatable and preventable. Just by watching what you eat, taking regular walks or other physical activity, and losing as little as 5 pounds, you can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and related diseases – and significantly improve the quality of your life.
Last Updated: November 11, 2013