WHO calls for healthier diets to combat alarming surge in diabetes | Global development | The Guardian

There are 422 million adults living with diabetes globally, most of them in poorer countries with limited access to treatment although the numbers are rising everywhere, says the report released for World Day on Thursday. That is 8.5% of the global adult population. In 1980, there were 108 million, which was 4.7%.

 

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 begins usually in childhood and the causes are unclear. The big increase in numbers is in type 2, which is linked to and decreasing levels of physical activity.

 

“If we are to make any headway in halting the rise in diabetes, we need to rethink our daily lives: to eat healthily, be physically active and avoid excessive weight gain,” said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO director general. “Even in the poorest settings, governments must ensure that people are able to make these healthy choices and that health systems are able to diagnose and treat people with diabetes.”

 

More than one in three people in the world are overweight today and one in 10 obese – many of them in the developing countries where eating habits and activity levels are altering fast, said Dr Etienne Krug, director of WHO’s department for the management of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

 

Governments around the world must act to ensure people can make healthier food choices, the World Health Organisation has said in a report (pdf) revealing a fourfold increase in global diabetes cases since 1980.

 

 

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