In NYC, more than half of adults are overweight or obese. The sugar in drinks such as soda, juice, and sweetened iced teas can bring on obesity, which can lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease.
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Diabetes is on the rise in India as well as in industrialized countries. The difference is, however, that in India, many people have no access to diagnosis and treatment.
Museypur is a small village east of Lucknow, the capital city of the north Indian state Uttar Pradesh. It is home to around 900 people, each of whom lives on less than a dollar a day. On the village outskirts, there is a small medical treatment center. Inside, there is nothing more than a simple bed with a straw mat cover on a high wooden frame.
If one of the village’s residents gets sick, the doctor, who stops by the center once in a while, can only guess the causes of the ailment - it is nearly impossible to diagnose a patient here. And getting treatment elsewhere often proves difficult, as transport to the closest hospital is insufficient. “I have no way of telling if one of our patients has diabetes, for example, because there is no laboratory here to process blood samples,” Dr. Pankay Kumar explains.
In Safdarganj, a town located around 30 minutes away from Museypur, the medcial center of Dr. Derendra Verma is better equipped. He confirms what physicians and health experts have been saying for years: chronic illnesses such as diabetes or cardiovascular diseases are on the rise among the people. But due to the large number of patients, he has little time for research.
Not only rich countries
What no one knows in Museypur and doesn’t seem to interest anyone in Safdarganj is that non-contagious diseases make up 70 percent of India’s overall health problems. Over 40 percent of deaths are attributed to diabetes, coronary problems and cancer. Counting only people under the age of 70, these diseases make up 60 percent of all deaths. According to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), around 52 million Indians - six percent of the population - have diabetes. In Germany, by comparison, five percent of the population has the disease.
According to Dr. Dorairaj Prabhakaran, executive director of the Center for Chronic Disease Control (CCDC) in New Delhi, the reasons for the increase in prevalence of such diseases are the same in India as in industrialized countries: unhealthy diets consisting of too much fat, salt and sugar. The risks are exacerbated by too little exercise and smoking.
Poor diets are especially harmful for children, says Rajan Sankar of the international non-governmental organization Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). “Children who are born underweight and gain weight quickly are at higher risk of chronic diseases later in life,” Sankar explains. According to the organization, 43 percent of children under age five suffer from underweight.
Inadequate medical treatment
Conditions are made worse, says Prabhakaran, due to insufficient treatment. The majority of Indians do not have health insurance, so many cannot afford to see a doctor. Adding to that, many people, for instance in Museypur, don’t make it to a larger, better-equipped medical facility until it is too late. And there are not enough doctors and clinics specializing in chronic diseases.
In 2012, a special clinic was set up for the treatment of metabolic diseases. The Fortis C-Doc clinic was founded in New Delhi by Anoop Misra, the director and head of India’s National Diabetes Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation. The private clinic treats diabetes and related diseases but treatment doesn’t come cheap. Despite the high prices, Misra says around 100 patients come to Fortis-C-Doc every day, and that further clinics are being planned.
Since 2010, there has been a national awareness program for the prevention of cancer, diabetes, strokes and coronary conditions, according to Anshu Prakash of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. By the year 2017, says Prakash, a number of measures will be in place throughout the entire country. But one factor will be difficult to treat, he admits: “Many people who are affected simply don’t want to accept the fact that they have a disease.”
(From Deutsche Welle)
One more day to World Diabetes Day (Nov. 14)
Diabetes is a challenging disease that affects the entire family in many ways. If you are living with diabetes or have a loved one with the disease, family support is very important when it comes to managing diabetes and preventing serious health problems. It’s also important to know that if you have a family history of diabetes – such as a mother, father, brother, or sister – you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The NDEP offers resources to help you make healthy lifestyle changes as a family as well as resources that can be used in community settings that are a part of the extended family, such as schools, businesses, and the health care community, among others.
Robert Lustig wants to convince the world that sugar is making us very sick. And lately he’s turned to an unconventional field – econometrics – to do it.
Lustig rounded up statisticians and epidemiologists to look at the relationship between food and diabetes risk. The paper, published this week in the journal PLoS One, found that the more sugar on the market in 175 countries, the higher the country’s diabetes rate.
"I’m not suggesting sugar is the only cause of diabetes," Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Franciso, tells The Salt. “But in this analysis it was the only thing that predicted it. And it was worldwide and over a decade.”
The researchers found that for every additional 150 calories of sugar (the amount that’s in a 12-ounce can of soda) available per person per day, the prevalence of diabetes in the population rose 1 percent. They compared that against an additional 150 calories from any type of food, which caused only a 0.1 percent increase in the population’s diabetes rate over the past decade.
The findings controlled for obesity, physical activity, and a number of economic and social variables.
(From NPR - The Salt - What’s On Your Plate)
(From Mother Jones)
Diabetes in USA
Diabetes screening among diverse communities in Ontario, Canada.
Nine years ago, Brenda Gray, a former schoolteacher in North Carolina, discovered she had Type 2 diabetes.
Since then, she has learned to manage the disease, diligently taking her medicine and keeping tabs on her blood sugar. But in September, she was told she had skin cancer, and her diabetes spun out of control.
Ms. Gray started an aggressive course of treatment that included radiation therapy. But the treatments weakened her and destroyed her appetite. Unable to eat, she developed dangerously low blood-sugar levels, and about two months ago, Ms. Gray’s daughter had to rush her to a hospital.
“She found me in bed shaking and sweating,” said Ms. Gray, who is 62 and lives in Durham. “When I got to the hospital, they couldn’t understand how I was still standing.”
Cancer and diabetes are two of the leading killers in America. Each can be a devastating diagnosis in its own right, but researchers are finding that the two often occur together. By some estimates, as many as one in five cancer patients also has diabetes.
In a recent joint report, the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association noted that people with Type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing cancers of the liver, pancreas, colon and bladder. Researchers with the National Cancer Institute released a similar report last year, which found greater rates of cancer among diabetics, as well as an elevated risk of dying from cancer.
(From The New York Times)
MEXICO CITY — With each bite into a greasy taco and slurp of a sugary drink, Mexico hurtles toward what health experts predict will be a public health crisis from diabetes-related disease.
A fifth of all Mexican women and more than a quarter of men are believed to be at risk for diabetes now. It’s already the nation’s No. 1 killer, taking some 70,000 lives a year, far more than gangster violence.
Public health experts blame changes in lifestyle that have made Mexicans more obese than anywhere else on Earth except the United States. They attribute changes to powerful snack and soft drink industries, newly sedentary ways of living and a genetic heritage susceptible to diabetes, a chronic, life-threatening illness.
(From McClatchy Newspapers)