Did you know that diabetes is responsible for 3-7 million deaths worldwide each year?

Unfortunately, this number is going to continue to increase at alarming rate. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently published their first global report on diabetes, and the figures are distressing. According to the report, the rate of diabetes has increased from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. In Australia alone, 10,000 people die of diabetes and associated causes each year.

What does this report mean?

The report suggests that obesity and physical inactivity are the drivers in the substantial increase in diabetes. The diabetes epidemic is just a “western world” problem, but it’s now becoming a global problem, with middle to low income countries becoming the large culprits of type 2 diabetes. This report is taking into account Type 2 diabetes; here is some clarification on the two types of the illness.

  • Type 1: formerly known as juvenile diabetes and insulin dependent diabetes, this is where the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin are 80-90% damaged. It’s approximated that 10% of the diabetes population have type 1.
  • Type 2: also known as insulin resistant and adult onset diabetes. However, the growing concern is that children as old as 13 are starting to develop Type 2 Diabetes. This is where there is insulin present, but the body is unable to effectively use it or it can also be due to the destruction of the insulin producing cells. 90% of diabetes cases are type 2.

Type 2 diabetes is linked with inactivity and excess body fat. Treatment is through lifestyle changes, such as including more exercise into your schedule, healthy eating and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. In the UK, Jamie Oliver has succeeded in introducing a sugar tax in parliament, however is that going to be enough?

Will this deter people from not having sugary drinks?

It’s a hard one to say at this point in time. But what we know is that poor diet, inactivity and obesity play a major role in this epidemic.

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