Diabetes epidemic

Causing 1.5 million deaths per year

Business & Politics

April 10, 2016

/ By / New Delhi

WHO_Diabetes

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), diabetes alone is the reason of around 1.5 million deaths in a year around the world. It is one of the most widespread lifestyle diseases in India, as well

The World Health Day was celebrated on April 7 across the globe and the World Health Organisation (WHO) chose to put the focus this year on diabetes, one of the biggest killers in the world and the message this year was ‘Act now on diabetes’.

According to the reports by WHO, diabetes causes around 1.5 million deaths in the world every year. WHO estimates say that in 2014 about 422 million people, including 69 million in India, suffer from diabetes and nearly half of them are not even aware that they suffer from this disease.

The World Health Organisation says that by 2030, diabetes will be the seventh largest leading cause of death in the world and efforts to prevent the disease will play an important role in achieving the global sustainable goal target of reducing premature mortality from Non-Communicative Diseases (NCDs) by one third by 2030.

According to WHO, the prevalence of diabetes has been rising faster in middle and low middle-income nations. It also says that while in 1980, only 4.7 pc of the adult population in the world suffered from the silent killer, by 2014, its incidence had risen sharply to 8.5 pc. The situation in India is also extremely alarming where the number of diabetic patients has increased to 65.1 million in 2015 as against 50 million only five years earlier.

According to International Diabetes Federation, one of the main causes of the alarming rise in incidence of diabetes in India is the widespread deterioration in quality of nutrition with a large-scale invasion of processed western foods in the country. In some urban centres, nearly one in five inhabitants suffers from diabetes and the disease seems to be spreading its wings in the rural areas as well.

Estimates say that if the disease continues to increase at the same rate, then in the next 30 years diabetes could be the largest killer in the country, displacing tuberculosis.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Besides changing food habits and adoption of fast foods or processed foods as the main source of an imbalanced diet, physical inactivity is one of the key reasons for diabetes.

According to researchers, simple measures have been effective in preventing or delaying diabetes. To prevent the disease and its complications, people should maintain a healthy body weight, be physically active, take a healthy diet with adequate vegetables and fruits and reduce the intake of sugar and saturated fats. Along with this, a walk for at least half an hour a day would help prevent diabetes.

Avoiding junk food, smoking and drinking is also advised for people. WHO aims to stimulate and support the adaptation of effective measures for the protection and control of diabetes and its complications, particularly in low and middle income countries.

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