By: Krishni Narine (Hons. B.A.)
The month of November highlights many important dates; from Remembrance Day on November 11th, to World Diabetes Day on November 14th. Many men at the beginning of November even grow their moustaches for Movember to create awareness to Prostate Cancer. Health has become a prominent topic in today’s culture and the World Health Organization continues to dedicate days to raise awareness and promote healthy living.
World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and World Health Organization as diabetes concerns began to rise. Almost 387 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014 and this number is anticipated to almost double to 600 million people by 2035. Imagine 1 in 2 people do not know that they have diabetes, and every 7 seconds 1 person dies from it. In 2014 there were 4.9 million deaths as a direct cause of diabetes.
Diabetes is a life-long disease that affects the way your body handles glucose, a kind of sugar, in your blood. We all have a family member or friend that is living with diabetes and has to manage their daily lifestyle. Even famous celebrities have been diagnosed with diabetes like Halle Berry, Tom Hanks and Larry King.
This year the theme for World Diabetes Day is Healthy Eating. By paying close attention to what our food choices are we are able to help stop type 2 diabetes, which about 90% of people with diabetes have. Managing all types of diabetes is important and with a healthy lifestyle, 70% of type 2 diabetes can be prevented.
By creating diabetes awareness and promoting healthy living at a young age, this will also help to deter the diabetes epidemic that is expected to take place. Taking the time to educate children and parents now is the key to reducing government spending to treat diabetes in the future. In 2014 it was estimated that it cost 612 billion USD to treat diabetes and manage complications.
Programs and Resources are available to the public to receive support for children that have health concerns that could lead to diabetes. In Scarborough, The Scarborough Hospital and Rouge Valley Health System jointly offers a new specialty clinic for children and teens with body weight health concerns. All of these measures are created to encourage families to make important lifestyle changes that will lead to improved health, stronger bodies and a better quality of life. Health providers taking action at a young age will help prevent later health risks down the road.
If we act now we can expect a better tomorrow. Governments working together to focus on health is the future of our global world. Talk to your doctor now to find out more information on what resources are available in your community. Let’s have a healthy lifestyle now!
Krishni Narine (Hons. B.A.)
Community Development Officer
The Scarborough Hospital Foundation