GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – November 14 was World Diabetes Day under the theme: “Eyes on Diabetes.” The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, partly financed the printing of Diabetes Foundation St. Maarten (DFS) diabetes awareness place mats. The St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) is also financing a few of the DFS place mats as part of their active role in diabetes awareness.
The aforementioned was in commemoration of World Diabetes Day. The place mats were handed over to DFS’s information sessions and community awareness activity.
The layout of the place mats were done by Artist Mary Wrigley and printed locally.
Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Emile Lee was present to present the place mat which can be used as a tool to remind persons to eat healthy to DFS during the DFS Diabetes Fair held on November 19 at the Belair Community Center.
The global theme globally for World Diabetes Day 2016 reflected on the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin dependent or adult on-set diabetes caused by the body’s failure ineffective use of insulin often resulting from excess body weight and physical inactivity) and treatment to reduce the risk of serious complications.
Diabetes is a leading cause of poor eyesight and blindness worldwide. The disease shortens lives, and if not managed properly can cause complications such as amputations, strokes or kidney failures.
The global rate of diabetes has nearly quadrupled since 1980, with some 422 million adults living with diabetes as of 2014.
Obesity is a major modifiable risk factor for diabetes. The estimated number of people with diabetes in the Americas is expected to increase by 45 per cent from 62.8 million in 2010 to 91.1 million by 2030.
Diabetes and obesity are no longer ‘diseases of affluence,’ and disproportionately affect the poor and the less educated of the Region.
The obesity epidemic, which is linked to the rise in diabetes, is largely driven by the twin trends of changing dietary patterns and decreasing physical activity.
Most countries in the Americas are experiencing a shift in dietary patterns toward increased consumption of energy-dense foods, rich in saturated fat, sugars, and salt.
This pattern, coupled with the fact that 30 to 60% of the population does not meet minimum recommended levels of physical activity (e.g., 30 minutes walking per day) contribute in large part to the high rates of overweight persons and obesity in the Region.
CPS, is urging the populace to strive to take increment steps towards a healthy lifestyle exercise regularly, eat healthy, minimize your salt and sugar intake, drink water, rest, consult your general practitioner and monitor the physical and biological changes.
For more information about diabetes and obesity, consult your general practitioner or contact the Diabetes Foundation of St. Maarten.