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A call to fight diabetes

In an article by Inquirer.net, it says that the cases of diabetes increased to 7.2 percent which means that almost 7 million Filipinos have the disease.

The Philippines is slowly going to rise as one of the top 10. Presently, the list includes China (109.6 million), India (69.2 million), United States of America (29.3 million), Brazil (14.3 million), Russian Federation (12.1 million), Mexico (11.5 million), Indonesia (10 million), Egypt (7.8 million), Japan 7.2 million, and Bangladesh (7.1 million).

Expert from the Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Dr. Cecille Anonuevo-Cruz, says that food choices we have now are not healthy. If and when the trend continues, Philippines can definitely take a higher rank than just being one of the top 15 countries with high recorded cases of the disease.

Knowing the enemy

Here are 10 facts about diabetes published in 2006 by the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • It is an emerging global epidemic that can be traced back to rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity.
  • Total deaths are projected to rise by more than 50% in the next 10 years. Most notably, they are projected to increase by over 80% in upper-middle income countries.
  • Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production and type 2 diabetes results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin.
  • Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes, and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes worldwide.
  • Reports of type 2 diabetes in children – previously rare – have increased worldwide. In some countries, it accounts for almost half of newly diagnosed cases in children and adolescents.
  • A third type is gestational diabetes. This type is characterized by hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, which is first recognized during pregnancy.
  • In 2005, 1.1 million people died from it. The full impact is much larger, because although people may live for years with diabetes, their cause of death is often recorded as heart diseases or kidney failure.
  • 80% of deaths are now occurring in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Lack of awareness about the disease, combined with insufficient access to health services, can lead to complications such as blindness, amputation and kidney failure.
  • It can be prevented. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days and a healthy diet can drastically reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

In a report by Philippine Star, Dr. Joey Miranda, 2013 secretary of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology – Philippines said that there were 3.4 million cases in the country in 2010 with a prevalence rate of 7.7 percent. While according to WHO and International Diabetes Foundation data, prevalence rate is projected to rise to 8.9 percent or 16 million cases in 2030.

In 2014, 9% of adults 18 years and older was diagnosed. In 2012, it was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths. More than 80% of its deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Now in 2016, we are in the hotspot of the disease. Among the adult population (20-79) here in the Philippines, 3,506 have it. There are 51,127 noted cases of deaths among the adult population caused by the said disease. This data is from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) where Philippines has been a member of since 1984.

Why do we care?

You might ask, why should the BPO industry care?

It’s in an alarming rate and needs to be called attention to especially with the rise of fastfood chains and professionals working the irregular hours in the country.

The number one cause of the disease is an unhealthy diet and inactivity which is a very familiar kind of lifestyle with BPO employees and office employees.

So, start to live a healthier lifestyle one step at a time. Consider running a few laps, replacing lemon water with soda and real food with nutrients instead of burger, corndog or other fast food menu. You wouldn’t want to be the 3,507th person diagnose with this disease.

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