With one third of adults and two thirds of adolescents insufficiently active, the World Health Organisatian, WHO, has warned of the consequences of growing incidences of diabetes, saying, it is now a global epidemic that kills one person every six seconds and over 5 million every year.
According to the world body, physical inactivity has become a leading risk factor for ill health. Who also expressed worry that as physical activity decreases, Non-Communicable Diseases,(NCDs) are increasing.
Diabetes is one of four major NCDs and, with cardiovascular disease, cancer and respiratory diseases, diabetes accounts for most of the disease burden and premature mortality. It is estimated that 50 percent of cases of diabetes have not yet been diagnosed. The prevalence is increasing all over the world, and WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030.
Diabetes makes people prone to heart disease, kidney failure and infectious diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS, among others, leading to premature death. According to WHO, Regional Director for South-East Asia, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, the number of people with diabetes is projected to increase alarmingly from 457 million in 2014 to 592 million by 2035 if we do not act now to arrest this trend.
Khetrapal said diabetes can be prevented and treated. She stressed the need for governments at all levels to provide a healthier environment for a healthy living, hence the need for individuals make lifelong healthy choices for a healthier future. According to WHO, the number of people with diabetes is projected to increase from 457 million in 2014 to 592 million by 2035
Some risk factors for diabetes include overweight or obesity, an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, which account for about 80 percent of the increase in prevalence of diabetes. These risk factors can be modified. Physical inactivity alone is estimated to cause 7 percent of the burden of type 2 diabetes and overweight and obesity account for an estimated 65–80 percent of new cases of diabetes.
Children need at least one hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day. The predominant causes of physical inactivity are environmental and systemic. It is becoming more difficult to maintain sufficient levels of physical activity, as people’s daily work and living environments are increasingly sedentary.
Addressing the risk factors for type 2 diabetes and halting its increasing prevalence, WHO called for whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches.