Archive for November 15th, 2011

November 14 is World Diabetes Day. The theme for the five-year period, 2009-2013, is “Diabetes education and prevention,” and this year’s slogan is “Act on Diabetes.Now.” Participating nations, eighty-four in 2010, will use blue lighting to reinforce the link between the color blue and diabetes.

This rampant disease isn’t limited to the United States. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 346 million people worldwide have the disease, and WHO expects the number to increase.  Diabetes causes nearly four million deaths annually with amputations, a major complication, responsible for crippling nearly one million more. That means one person every eight seconds dies from complications of diabetes. The disease is no respecter of persons regardless of age, nationality or economic status.

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, but healthy eating, weight loss, and physical activity impact the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes.  Major risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Family history of the disease
  • Ethnic background (more common in Hispanics, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Asians)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive weight (BMI above 25)
  • High blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels
  • Increased age above 45

While we can do nothing about many of these factors, we can control those related to food, activity, and lifestyle. What are you doing to prevent or control this disease in your life and around the world?



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