Erum Ghafoor, Baqai Institute of Diabetology & Endocrinology, Pakistan
The prevalence of diabetes is alarmingly rising around the globe. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). IDF estimates that up to 70% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed. There are several factors which may lead towards type 2 diabetes but many factors are still uncontrollable and untreatable.
Points to discuss
- Most common ten prevention messages
- The main focus of current prevention messages
- The accuracy of the existing prevention messages
- The controllable vs uncontrollable factors of diabetes prevention
- Intervention strategies and measures of success
- Existing interventions that do not always work well
- Examples of productive and motivating prevention messages
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed and the best way to prevent it is to create awareness and deliver proper self- management education. We just don’t need to educate people on what not to do but rather what can be done to make their living environment healthier. Help people to be in control of their existing situation, no matter where and whatever the societal limitations are. Find out the realistic solutions and how to do self-behavior modifications as a society, not just as an individual. Most of the prevention messages target the prominent problems such as obesity but never targets the real solutions such as healthy food is expensive and junk food are cheaper and have become a big business globally. Governments, policy makers and stake holders should be involved. Media is also playing great role especially inspiring children by wrong messages causing drastic increase in childhood obesity which eventually leads to Diabesity. Prevention messages promoting physical activity are not always successful as not applicable within the general environment. There are lots of prevention messages and campaigns to target obesity but little to stop fizzy drinks and high sugar snacks, which are simply full of calories. There are several places where due to poverty, people only eat junk foods as they are cheap.
On the other hand there are many factors and medical conditions which are uncontrollable and untreatable that usually cause type 2 diabetes, such as age, PCOS, Cushing’s syndrome etc. Some issues of further discussion include: is it wise to classify every type 2 diabetics in the same category; do we have any messages for such cases; do we address those issues publicly; how can we make their lives healthier?