Thursday, November 1
November is Diabetes Awareness Month
November is diabetic awareness month in Canada and I believe in the US also. Diabetes has been escalating over the last few years and is quickly becoming an epidemic. We need to stop diabetes in its tracks.
This morning there was an article about diabetes in the Toronto Star. A ground breaking study has proven that urban scrawl is contributing to diabetes, where once it was believed that it was only poverty and immigration population that was causing diabetes to escalate.
85,000 people in Ontario are suffering from diabetes, which can lead to blindness, limb amputation, kidney failure as well as heart attack and stroke. The story goes on to say that one in nine people living in Toronto has diabetes and that the disease has soared 27% in the last four years. There is no sign that this trend is going to slow. More than 50,000 people in Toronto have been diagnosed with diabetes in the last four years.
The article goes on to say that on an aboriginal reserve in northwestern Ontario, one in four people suffer from diabetes and that in New York City's Harlem one in five people are diabetics. Most who suffer from diabetes are Type II diabetics. Many of these people cannot get the amount of exercise they require on a daily basis because their neighborhood is too dangerous to walk very far. Also, they don't have the means to supply their families with healthy, nutritious food.
The report must be taken into consideration by the Ontario Government offices at Queen's Park in Toronto. The City of Toronto also needs to increase efforts to invest in public services in low income neighborhoods where many people suffer from diabetes and other illnesses because they live in poverty. It seems to me, and this is only my personal opinion, that Mayor David Miller needs to be looking at avenues to correct the problems in his city. In many areas residents have to travel extended distances in order to get to a store.
Some communities in Ontario are making people sick and there definitely needs to be an increase in income for Ontario's working poor. Many of these people can't afford to buy health and nutritious food even if there was a farmer's market or grocery store right around the corner.
Obesity plays a huge role in the onset of Type II diabetes and at this time, one in two Canadians are overweight. Years ago, only adults were diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Today, many children, some as young as ten have the disease. Some of this is because in today's society we allow our children to sit in front of TV sets, computer screens and play video games instead of going outside to play.
The long and short of the matter is that we need to ensure that our kids get at least a half hour of intense exercise on a daily basis. Adults also need that amount of exercise or more. Without exercise and proper food, the diabetes epidemic is going to blow out of proportion. But this cannot be done unless the people living in poverty are able to buy the healthy and nutritious food that they need to keep them in optimum health.
Years ago, diabetes common. People ate large portions of meat and fats but then worked it off doing hard labor. Today we sit at desks or sit in front of the TV in our spare time and pack on the pounds. We drive everywhere and park as close to the door as we possibly can. These things make us vunerable to weight gain, which in turn can cause the onset of diabetes.
It is imperative that North Americans change their lifestyles if we do not want there to be a diabetes epidemic. We are close to that now. Do your part to ensure that diabetes does not touch your life. If you already have diabetes, be certain to have regular checkups by a health care profession, take your blood glucose levels often and eat healthy and nutritious foods. This will help prevent the complications of diabetes and keep you in optimum health.
at 9:10 AM