IDF estimates that nearly 400 million adults currently have diabetes and at current trends this will rise to nearly 600 million over the next 20 years. The vast majority of this increase will be people with type 2 diabetes, resulting from modern lifestyles characterised by unhealthy diets, high sugar intake and insufficient physical activity. We know that lifestyle modification can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. However, changing individuals’ behaviour is very difficult in environments in which unhealthy foods are cheap and more heavily promoted than healthy options, and in which predominantly sedentary lifestyles are the norm.
Therefore, I would like to ask you; what is, according to you, the most effective way of preventing the new cases of type 2 diabetes? Should we be encouraging individuals to change their behaviours, or societies to change their environments? What is the role of health professionals in prevention? And what is the role of the International Diabetes Federation?
Looking forward to reading your views and experiences!
What can we as health professionals do to protect current and future generations from the risk of developing type 2 diabetes?