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World Diabetes Day 2021

By Medical Expert Team

Nov 15 , 2021 | 1 min read

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Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death worldwide and a major contributor to the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and end-stage renal failure. It is estimated that 7-11% of the world’s population has diabetes and the vast majority of this, approximately 90%, is type 2 diabetes mellitus. Type 2 Diabetes is increasing at a particularly fast rate in South Asian countries as more people migrate from rural areas into urban areas which results in reduction in physical activity and dietary changes as people consume more energy-dense foods, more refined carbohydrates, saturated fat, trans-fat and less monounsaturated & polyunsaturated fat and fewer high-fibre carbohydrates which creates a population with an increasing body weight and waist circumference and increased risk of T2D due to changing dietary and physical activity habits.

Risk factors for developing T2D are categorised as ‘modifiable and Non-Modifiable’ risk factors. Modifiable risk factors are overweight/obesity often measured by Body Mass index (BMI), waist circumference, Unhealthy Diet, physical inactivity, High Blood Pressure, Smoking and Non-Modifiable Risk factors: Family history of diabetes and ethnicity. It is estimated that 80-85% of diabetes is caused by being overweight.

Large, high-quality clinical trials show that modest changes to diet and physical activity through a structured, 1 year, lifestyle intervention can reduce the incidence of T2D by more than 50% in people at high risk of T2D. Therefore, Lifestyle modification is an important part of treatment of T2D. Blood glucose levels can be reduced and managed by improving diet (Increase consumption of foods high in dietary fibre, reduce total fat & saturated fat in the diet), Increasing physical activity (Undertake ≥150 minutes of 'moderate-intensity' physical activity per week), Reduce weight by 5–10%. This will substantially lower the risk of T2D. Medication to manage blood glucose levels are required in more progressed T2D, but should still be used in conjunction with lifestyle management.

Written by:

Medical Expert Team