The Diabetes Tsunami
South Asians are tainted with the blight of diabetes. It is a shame which the community needs to do more and help reverse this dangerous trend. This drift is no longer just in the United Kingdom, but it is reaching wherever the community diaspora locates.
Academic research clearly shows that there is a higher prevalence of diabetes among the South Asian diaspora compared with other ethnic and local populations in many Western nations. Among South Asians, Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed at an earlier age and is associated with increased mortality compared with the white population in these countries.
Recent figures show that over 23% of South Asians in the USA suffer from diabetes. This is nearly double to that of non-Hispanic whites. This may even be an under-estimation as many people may not even realise that they have diabetes. The story is already too familiar in the UK where the South Asian community has a rate six times higher than in the Europeans. Although the South Asians comprise only 4% of the population, the diabetic rate is around 8% which puts huge pressure on public services.
According to the World Health Organisation, the number of people with diabetes in India was around 32 million, but it is set to rise to around 80 million by 2030. It is a shocking statistic. China, which has a higher population than India has rates half of that of India. It's 2000 figure of 21million is likely to double by 2030, but comparatively much lower than that of India.
There are a number of measures individuals and society can take to help alleviate what public health officials call the ‘tsunami’ of health. And unless we take it as seriously as we are now with climate change, this illness is going to escalate at such a rate, that the social, economic and health care challenges are going to be undefeatable.
What can you do?
- Learn about diabetes and improve your knowledge.
- Improve your diet. Your local GP will have plenty of information as to what comprises a good diet. In places like Leicester, UK, the local council has even developed a whole series of recipes which are South Asian in nature, but healthy.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day
- Manage stress levels.
The above steps will not help in diabetes but help combat so many other illnesses and help improve your overall lifestyle.
Let us beat diabetes.