WHO Study on Diabetes

No, not as in “Horton Hears a…” (been there, done that). Rather, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced last month that it’s initiating a study on the economic impact of diabetes “for a world-wide implementation model for controlling the disease.”

I suppose it’s wrong to be excited about the fact that diabetes is no longer considered a “lifestyle disease” of affluent countries, but rather now ranks as one of the world’s most serious non-communicable diseases. They are now talking about 366 million diabetes patients world-wide by 2030 -– including 1 in 7 people in Korea, and 1 in 7 people in Puerto Rico. Geez! Naturally, I’m not happy about this, but the huge economic impact this disease is having on countries like India, China, and Africa means Orange Alert across the globe. And the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

The International Diabetes Foundations’ “Diabetes Action Now” is teaching people in low- and middle-income countries to treat and prevent diabetes through simple measures like healthy eating and physical activity. They’re hoping to prevent millions of cases with this intervention. With just a little tweaking to focus on sedentary lifestyle and anti-overeating, imagine what such a broad intervention program could do for the US!

Meanwhile, my 7-year-old brought home a crayoned picture of the Food Pyramid among her other school papers yesterday. “What’s this?,” I asked. “Oh, some science stuff,” she said. Hmm, I’d say a good third of the kids in her school are overweight. How about a program to teach kids to turn the Four Food Groups concept into practice?

2 Responses

  1. Angsuman Chakraborty
    Angsuman Chakraborty March 16, 2005 at 10:41 am | | Reply

    Diabetes is spreading like an epidemic in India along with its horrible cousin diabetic renal failure. People talk about AIDS. AIDS is nothing comapared to diabetes in sheer numbers. When I was growing up diabetes was rarely heard of. And having diabetes was considered like a sure death sentence. Now everywhere I see diabetics … everywhere.

    What makes it very much damaging in India is that people are not aware of diabetes even today and most doctors don’t educate the patients. Just to give an example more then 95% of diabetics do not have a glucose testing meter at home. They think testing once a month PP sugar is good enough! Ad there are still lots of misconceptions about insulin even by many old doctors!

  2. Jo
    Jo March 18, 2005 at 4:37 am | | Reply

    I posted an article last night about seeing kids waiting on school buses the other day that were obviously overweight and my gut wrenching concern for them. I even went to the local schools’ website to check out the meals they are providing. Seems they are trying to provide good food options, but I lay the blame slap back on parents. Yes – children should be taught good eating habits, but from parents first, then the schools.

    I also read an article in Time the other day at the doctor’s office about the Dept of Ag head in Texas getting involved in schools food programs, taking the junk machines out of the schools and next is going to tackle getting gym and recess “BACK” into the schools.

    Great day to everyone!

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