Nepal | April 09, 2020

Healthy diet, exercise keeps diabetes at bay: WHO

Himalayan News Service
  • ‘If not properly managed, the disease may cause serious damage to vital organs’

Kathmandu, April 6

Government officials and health experts have suggested that nutritious food, regular exercise and change in lifestyle could help reduce the risk of diabetes.

With increasing number of people suffering from diabetes and pre-diabetes in recent years, they stressed on the urgent need for all to maintain a healthy weight, consume fruits and veggies, reduce the intake of sugary drinks, increase physical activity and control blood pressure to reduce the risk of the disease.

Dr Jos Vandelaer,  representative of the World Health Organisation to Nepal, warned that non-communicable diseases, especially diabetes, which is preventable and controllable, was gradually taking a toll on Nepal and other parts of the world due to sedentary lifestyles and physical inactivity.

“Don’t eat much at the same time. Eat small meals at right intervals to help lose weight and remain lean, fit and healthy. I advise all to walk at least half hour a day.”

He was speaking at an interaction organised in the capital today on the eve of the World Health Day, which is celebrated on April 7 every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948. Each year a theme is selected that highlights a priority area of public health. WHO is focusing global attention on diabetes on World Health Day 2016, with focus in the South-East Asian region. The day provides an opportunity for individuals to get involved in activities that can lead to better health.

Dr Jyoti Bhattarai, a diabetes expert, advised all to control sugar level in the blood. “High blood sugar causes adverse effects to blood vessels, resulting in low blood supply to the organs and hit the heart, nerves, eyes, kidneys and feet worst. Controlling blood sugar lowers the risk of many health complications from diabetes.”

Kunja Prasad Joshi, an official at the National Health Education and Communication Center, said an estimated 1,328,000 people were living with diabetes in Nepal.

“Nearly 46 per cent of deaths are caused by four major non-communicable diseases, including diabetes in Nepal. Therefore, it is highly necessary to reduce the cases of such diseases by adopting preventive measures and simple lifestyle,” he said.

According to WHO, diabetes is of particular concern in the South-East Asia region. More than one out of every four of the 3.7 million diabetes-related deaths globally occur in the region, while its prevalence exacerbates difficulties in the control of major infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. Almost half of the 96 million people suffering from the disease don’t know they have it.

Nearly 90 per cent of all diabetes cases are of Type 2, largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity. It is both preventable and treatable if detected early. If not properly managed, the disease causes serious damage to major organs in the body, resulting in heart attacks, strokes, blindness and nerve damage. Regular exercise for 30 minutes and at least five times a week is necessary for adults.

A version of this article appears in print on April 07, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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