April 01, 2016 / Abby Cohen
World Health Day 2016 : Beat Diabetes
April 7 is World Health Day. Since 1950, the World Health Organization (WHO) has used this day to draw global attention to an important health issue. This year, they have chosen to focus on diabetes, a disease that affects millions around the world, impacting more people every day.
Fast facts about diabetes
Diabetes is a non-communicable, treatable and largely preventable disease. Yet it’s on the rise almost everywhere, most significantly in low- and middle-income countries.
The disease is characterized by elevated blood glucose levels. Over time, these can cause severe damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. The WHO estimates 350 million people across the globe have diabetes, and that it’s caused 1.5 million deaths.
What happens if you get diabetes?
Although diabetes can be fatal, it can also be successfully controlled with simple lifestyle changes. By exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a normal body weight, people with diabetes can lead healthy lives. And complications of the disease can be managed through diagnosis, affordable treatment and education about self-management.
Lower your risk of contracting the disease!
The same lifestyle choices that help control diabetes can also be effective in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes, or at least delaying it. In other words, it’s a good idea to eat healthy choices, especially those low in trans fats, saturated fats and added sodium and sugars. And avoid highly processed foods, including processed meats. And, if possible, get active every day.
There are other risk factors for diabetes. Here are a few:
If any of these describe you, it’s important to see your doctor and get screened.
Here’s to world health!
This year, the goals of World Health Day are to increase prevention, boost care, and expand screening for diabetes. So spread the word!
To learn more World Health Day 2016, you can visit the W.H.O. website.