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More than 370 million people have diabetes, and half are undiagnosed

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 14th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In 2012, nearly five million people died due to diabetes. Even more tragic is the fact that while more than 371 million people are living with diabetes, half remain undiagnosed. In considering global implications of the disease, diabetes is often thought to be a Western problem, but that is no longer so. Every country in the world has since an increase with people with the disease.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the IDF's 2012 Diabetes Atlas, Africa has been hit particularly hard by the disease, and of the 15 million Africans with diabetes, more than 80 percent go undiagnosed. Africa also has the highest mortality rate due to diabetes. The number of diabetics living in Africa is expected to skyrocket, double current numbers in the next 20 years.

While type 1 Diabetes is not preventable, risk of type 2 diabetes can be curbed by maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.

Endocrinologist Ronald Tammler at Mount Sinai Diabetes Center in New York says that exercise and healthy eating are positive steps in managing both types of the disease. "Changing your lifestyle is more powerful than the vast majority of medications," he said. "Changing what you eat, exercise and what physical activity you integrate into your life - whether it's just walking - it doesn't have to be in a gym."

While genes play a large role in the disease, as do environmental influences beyond human control, you have tremendous power, for better or for worse, over your health and longevity. As drawn from the U.S. News How to Live to 100 Project, can help you secure a long and healthy life.

For all ages:

-- Stay active. Cut your chances of being mowed down prematurely by major scourges like heart disease and cancer by exercising regularly.

-- Stay lean. Packing on extra pounds not only jeopardizes health, but can set the stage for arthritis and mobility problems.

-- Eat wisely. Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low and nonfat dairy, legumes, lean meats, and fish are staples of a healthy diet.

-- Limit red meat to no more than 18 (cooked weight) ounces per week, suggests the American Institute for Cancer Research.

-- Keep alcohol to a minimum: no more than two daily drinks for men and one for women. Certain cancers may be the alternative.

Studies have shown that many people who have pre-diabetes can prevent or slow down the onset of full-blown diabetes by losing weight and adding regular physical activity into their routines.

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