Friday, June 06, 2008

Diet, Exercise and Diabetes

news you may not knowSorry - It's a Bit More Serious...

If you're here looking for a quick fix-well, there are some Band-Aids on sale back on aisle seven. They'll help for a little scratch, a minor cut, or even a shaving mishap. But, if the issue you're dealing with is diabetes, you'll need to step over to the this-is-really-serious line; your life could depend on it.

Chinese researchers report that diet and exercise changes can significantly delay, or even prevent, the onset of type 2 diabetes. This is the most common type of diabetes, affecting over 200 million adults worldwide. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease often evident from an early age, but type 2 diabetes is more closely tied to lifestyle.

The Chinese researchers followed over 500 adults for a 20-year period. They were divided into 4 groups: a control group, whose members simply lived as they desired, a group whose members ate a better diet, a group whose members exercised more and a group whose members both ate better and exercised more.

The results are not surprising.

Those who ate better and exercised more had a reduced risk of developing diabetes - their risk was 43% less over the 20-year period. That's huge.

Diabetes is not a Band-Aid fixable disease. It leads to multiple serious medical complications, including liver and kidney damage, heart disease, stroke, and circulatory problems, which may result in limb amputation. The numbers are quite staggering. Currently, there are almost 250 million adults with diabetes, and about 3 million diabetes-related deaths each year. It's estimated the number of adults with diabetes will grow to 380 million by 2025, as more countries experience economic growth and adopt unhealthy lifestyles.

So, forget the Band-Aids. This calls for real-but simple-lifestyle changes. Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, eat a diet filled with fruits and vegetables, and do some exercise. Your body will thank you.

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To learn more about diabetes, including finding guidelines on prevention, see this from the International Diabetes Federation.


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