Saturday, December 4, 2010

Frightening diabetes statistics

Diabetes rates in Newfoundland and Labrador are the highest in Canada and they don’t show any signs of letting up.

It doesn’t surprise me. Look at our diet. Here in St. John’s, unless you want to go to one of the more expensive restaurants downtown, it seems the most you can hope for is deep fried food. I was out to a well known diner in the Goulds last week and asked if I could get my fish grilled and was told that all they do is deep fry. Same for just about every other place. No wonder we’re fat and diabetic with high blood pressure. Don’t get me going about the amount of salt we use.

The Canadian Diabetes Association released a report this week showing that we lead the pack in terms of diabetes numbers for Canada. The report says, “It’s estimated the direct and indirect financial impact of diabetes in Newfoundland and Labrador currently costs the province $254 million per year. By 2020, these costs will increase to over $322 million per year if we don’t take action.”  (See the The Cost of Diabetes in Newfoundland and Labrador report here).

So what do we do? Well the CDA is recommending that the government move towards establishing a provincial Diabetes Program with the specific responsibility and accountability for addressing diabetes issues in the province. Either that or we can continue to bury our heads in the sand and hope that it goes away.

The personal challenge though is not to wait for government to act.  Instead, each one of us can do our part.  Lose weight.  Best way known to do that is through increased physical activity (used to be called exercise) and reduced food intake.  If you take in less and expend more, your fat will go down.  While you're at it, throw out the salt shaker.

Won’t be long before it’s not only our heads being buried.

(Personal disclaimer: I'm a Type 2, insulin-dependent diabetic)


Lisa Browne said...

They are indeed frightening. In fact, I think our stats are one of the highest in the world. And I totally agree that personal responsibility must play a major role. Optimal health cannot be provided to us or for us - we must take control as much as we can with assistance and guidance from the experts.

ViewPoint2010 said...

Personal control is the key Lisa. It's all too often that people look to the health care system for the magic fix - the lap band surgery, stomach stapling, chemical diets through prescription medication, Jenny Craig's food, etc, etc, etc. It's up to each one of us to make a personal decision and the follow through with it. I know a 35-year old woman who is an absolutely beautiful person with a husband and a young son and she must weigh close to 350 pounds. Her attitude, "well we all have to go sometime". She doesn't realize the damage she's doing to her system by her continual overeating. I feel sorry for her.

Charlie said...

Good points, personal control is central to avoiding avoidable health troubles. I think that as you said the bulk of places to eat are just feeding people stuff that is toxic and not helpful to the body.