World Health Day 2016 Diabetes is Main Focus
World Health Day, promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 7th, brought distressing news this year: Since 1980, there has been a fourfold increase in diabetes cases with 422 million people affected in 2014. While the study combines both type I and type II diabetes, the statistics are startling, leading WHO Director-General Margaret Chan to urge:
We need to rethink our daily lives: to eat healthily, be physically active and avoid excessive weight gain.
What is diabetes?
Type I and type II diabetes are both chronic conditions impacted by the lack of production (type I) or the inefficient use of (type II) insulin. Type I diabetes, or the body’s inability to produce enough insulin, is genetic and requires insulin treatment, but type II diabetes is nearly always a result of poor lifestyle and dietary choices. There are two contributors to type II diabetes: eating too much junk and getting too little exercise.
Diabetes was once a disease that mainly impacted affluent countries, but as this year’s World Health Day focus, we are now seeing that the prevalence of diabetes in lower and middle-income countries is soaring. The rate of diabetes increased most in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and has coincided with an overall increase in obesity globally as well.
5 Ways to Prevent Obesity and Type II Diabetes
Since diabetes is often linked to obesity, focusing on ways to avoid weight gain and to stay active will also help reduce the risk of diabetes. Here are Dr. Sears’ 5 ways to prevent obesity and diabetes:
- Choose foods based on Traffic Light Eating.
- Drink mostly water, avoiding sweetened beverages.
- Eliminate foods with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
- Follow Dr. Sears’ rule of two’s: eat twice as often, half as much, and chew twice as long.