Preventing Diabetes


Every year World Diabetes Day is celebrated globally on November 14th to continue spreading the message about diabetes and raising awareness for the condition.


Close to one-fifth of all adults with diabetes in the world live in the South-East Asia Region
Current estimates indicate that 71.4 million people have diabetes (2011) and that the number of people with diabetes in the region will increase to 120.9 million by 2030. This region has one of the highest estimates of prevalence of type 1 diabetes in children and the second highest number of deaths attributable to diabetes. More than half (55%) of these deaths occur in people under the age of 60 and almost a third (27%) under the age of 50.

Type two diabetes has become increasingly common among Asian populations and in young adults and adolescents
Many people still think that this disease only affects old people or big people – the truth is, diabetes does not discriminate against age or weight – you never know if you are susceptible to it. But evidence shows that risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight or obesity, excess weight around the waist, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, smoking, genetic disposition, and family history. Remember, you can develop type 2 diabetes even if you are not overweight.

Once you develop diabetes, it is almost never reversible
Meaning you will have it for the rest of your life – but you can make healthy choices to prevent complications such as heart disease, eye problems, foot problems, nerve damage, infections and kidney damage.


At present, type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. The environmental triggers that are thought to generate the process that results in the destruction of the body’s insulin-producing cells are still under investigation. However, Diabetes prevention studies have shown that changes in lifestyle, including increased physical activity, better nutrition and body weight management, can substantially decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.

30 minutes of exercise per day can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by 40%
Obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. Weight loss improves insulin resistance and reduces hypertension. Increased physical activity is important in maintaining weight loss and is linked to reduced blood pressure, reduced resting heart rate, increased insulin sensitivity, improved body composition and psychological well-being.

A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for health
A healthy diet reduces risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. The theme of World Diabetes Day, from 2014 to 2016 will be healthy living and diabetes. This year focuses on starting each day right by having a healthy breakfast. This should help blood sugar levels from getting too high and should keep you full through the morning. Whilst cereal and toast may be cheap, these options typically raise blood sugar levels rapidly and may leave you hungry again before lunch. If you drink fruit juice for breakfast, consider cutting the juice out or having a smaller glass of it.

Quit Smoking
This is a well-known risk factor for many chronic diseases, including diabetes and its complications. As well as other harmful effects, smoking increases abdominal fat accumulation and insulin resistance. All smokers should be encouraged to quit smoking.

Improve your Sleeping patterns
Both short (less than 6 hours) and long (more than 9 hours) sleep durations may be associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Sleep deprivation may impair the balance of hormones regulating food intake and energy balance. Make sure that you get just the right amount of sleep, not too much and not too little.

This article was published in the Oct-Dec 2015 issue of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!