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Healthy Living

06 February 2007
In many cases, Diabetes can be prevented

Several approaches have been tried to prevent type 1 diabetes but none of them have been shown to work, and the prevention of type 1 diabetes remains an objective for the future. However, simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes.

They include:

• Increased physical activity – it is estimated that currently 60% of the world’s population do not do enough physical activity, with adults in developed countries most likely to be inactive. Studies have shown that just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, five days a week, is enough to promote good health and reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

• A healthy diet – eating between three and five servings of fruit and vegetables a day and eating less sugar and saturated fats has been shown to be important in maintaining appropriate weight, and therefore a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

• Weight loss – more than one billion adults worldwide are overweight; at least 300 million of whom are obese. It is estimated that well over half of all cases of type 2 diabetes could be avoided if excessive weight gain in adults could be prevented.

• Non-smoking – people with diabetes are at greater risk of dying from coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease than people without the condition. Smoking increases the risk even further.

A full and healthy life is possible with diabetes

To prevent or delay complications, diabetics may have to modify their lifestyle, as;

• Studies have shown that, with good management, many of the complications of diabetes can be prevented or delayed.

• Effective management includes lifestyle measures such as a healthy diet, physical activity, maintaining appropriate weight and not smoking.

• Medication often has an important role to play, particularly for the control of blood glucose, blood pressure and blood lipids.

• Through the provision of optimal health care the risk of developing diabetic complications can be reduced substantially.

• Helping people with diabetes to acquire the knowledge and skills to manage their own condition is central to their leading a full and healthy life.

In this Healthy Living section, you will get a lot of information and practical tips that can support your efforts of living a healthier lifestyle.

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