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Thursday, November 13, 2014

World Diabetes Day: Off to the right start

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2014 World Diabetes Day Messages:
One: Investing in a healthy breakfast will reduce the global burden of diabetes, and save billions in lost productivity and healthcare costs. 
Two: Ensure access to an affordable and healthy breakfast is essential to reducing the global burden of diabetes.

Source: World Diabetes Day
Tomorrow, Friday November 14, 2014, marks World Diabetes Day on which international attention is given to raise awareness about diabetes which affects almost 400 million people worldwide and contributes to 5 million deaths annually.

As people who have been surgically treated for the metabolic disorder obesity our lives are often affected by diabetes (most commonly type 2 diabetes) and we understand the impact of this disease on our health and daily well being. Weight loss surgery and the weight loss following the surgical intervention are known to reduce the condition of type 2 diabetes. We understand that an ongoing focused effort to follow a healthy diet is necessary to keep the condition in remission. Knowing this we are well served in giving our attention to World Diabetes Day.

"World Diabetes Day takes place on 14 November every year," according to the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF).  World Diabetes Day was introduced by the IDF and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1991. World Diabetes Day unites the global diabetes community to produce a powerful voice for diabetes awareness and advocacy, engaging individuals and communities to bring the diabetes epidemic into the public spotlight." Fifteen years later the United Nations joined IDF and WHO and officially recognized  ‘World Diabetes Day’ in 2006.

Diabetes is a global pandemic that crosses national borders without regard to race, gender, or economic circumstance. It is estimated that 11 percent of all healthcare spending  across the globe goes to treating the preventable risk factors of type 2 diabetes. In fact, the majority of the costs related to diabetes are spent on treating complications which can affect the heart, eyes, kidneys, and feet. These are complications that can be prevented through early diagnosis and proper management of diabetes.

The IDF maintains that one of the easiest ways to reduce the risks of diabetes is to start the day with a healthy breakfast. This means trading high energy low nutrient breakfast meals for healthier fare to start the day in a healthy balanced way that positively affects blood glucose levels and reduces the risks of diabetes. IDF believes starting the day with a healthy nutrient dense breakfast will make significant progress in reducing the risk factors that contribute to diabetes. Here are the details from IDF:

  • Over 70% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles, equivalent to up to 150 million cases by 2035.
  • Eating a healthy breakfast decreases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • A healthy diet containing leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, lean meat, fish and nuts can help reduce a person's risk of type 2 diabetes and avoid complications in people with diabetes. 
  • Skipping breakfast is associated with weight gain, one of the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Overweight and obesity account for up to 80% of new cases of type 2 diabetes.
  • Reducing the prevalence of type 2 diabetes will result in an increased participation and productivity in the workforce, given that the greatest number of people with diabetes are between 40 and 59 years of age.

After weight loss surgery we are instructed to avoid low-nutrient processed carbohydrates that are often the primary ingredient in manufactured breakfast cereals. A high protein breakfast, containing dairy protein including eggs, or animal protein including lean meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish, is the standard diet most commonly prescribed to patients of all currently practiced bariatric procedures. Adding fruits and vegetables is encouraged as one-third of nutrient intake. This diet is in keeping with the IDF suggestions for a healthy breakfast. And it is likely this contributes to lowered risk and symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

For great tips in the fight against diabetes follow World Diabetes Day on Twitter: @WDD.

International Diabetes Federation: Blue circle

The blue circle is the universal symbol for diabetes. Until 2006, there was no global symbol for diabetes. The purpose of the symbol is to give diabetes a common identity. It aims to:
  • Support all existing efforts to raise awareness about diabetes
  • Inspire new activities, bring diabetes to the attention of the general public
  • Brand diabetes
  • Provide a means to show support for the fight against diabetes

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