This article is part of the Health & Wellbeing topic. Below are more articles in this topic.
Type 2 Diabetes is the largest health problem facing New Zealand - you can get it during pregnancy, you can be born with it, you can inherit it or you can develop it from the way you live.
As epidemics go, Diabetes is the silent one but it is Diabetes that is going to lower the average life expectancy for the first time in more than a century.
Diabetes can lead to complications of the eyes, kidneys, heart and blood vessels, feet, gums, mouth and teeth. In the past, oral health has received little attention for policy development, in spite of New Zealand being one of the countries with the poorest rates of oral health in the world.
Over 146,000 New Zealanders already have diagnosed diabetes but at least as many again have it without knowing it or are very close to getting it. Worse still, these numbers are forecast to double by 2020. In just 14 short years from now 500,000 New Zealanders will have Diabetes unless we act now.
Already diabetes consumes nearly 5% of the total health budget and it is forecast to rise threefold by 2020. That’s nearly an extra billion taxpayer dollars each year.
90% of Diabetes is Type 2, a progressive, unheralded resistance to the action of insulin, spurred on by genetic factors, age and obesity. Previously the preserve of middle-age, children and teenagers as young as nine are today being diagnosed.
"People can make lifestyle changes to help prevent diabetes complications, particularly by eating healthy food and doing regular physical activity," says John Denton, General Manager of Diabetes Auckland. "By taking the right steps to stay healthy (200 minutes exercise a week and halve fat intake) you can reduce the risk of diabetes complications including gum disease."
The focus of Diabetes Auckland’s Awareness Week will be to alert people of the dangers of uncontrolled diabetes through its RU@RISK programmes.
Take the right steps and stay healthy
Diabetes can lead to complications