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Defeat Diabetes
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Obesity/Diabetes Reduces Life Expectancy

Posted: Thursday, June 03, 2004

Obesity already affects 300 million people worldwide, and an estimated 194 million have diabetes. By 2025 the number of obese people is expected soar to 333 million.

"I suspect that within a short period of time we will begin to see a reduction in life expectancy because of the twin epidemics," said Professor Claude Bouchard, president of the International Society for the Study of Obesity (IASO). He spoke at the 13th European Congress on Obesity here, attended by some 2500 doctors and health experts. Professor Rhys Williams, a vice president of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), noted that a fall in deaths from cardiovascular disease in the United States is now showing signs of stopping.

He suspects it is due, at least partly, to the obesity epidemic. "The rise in type 2 diabetes is, in great part, due to weight gain," said Professor Pierre Lefebvre, president of the IDF.

As many as 80% of cases of type 2 diabetes are linked with overweight or obesity, particularly abdominal obesity. The disease was once thought to be limited to adults but obese children are now developing the illness.

In the United States, the prevalence of excess weight and obesity in adolescents has nearly tripled in the past two decades. In 30 years time, the number of people in the U.S. with diabetes is expected to increase by 57%, according to Dr. Lefebvre. In some countries in the Middle East and Asia the number will double. "We are facing a huge, huge, epidemic," Dr. Lefebvre added.

A new report on diabetes by the IDF and the IASO, released at the conference, estimates that at least half of all diabetes cases could be eliminated if weight gain could be prevented.

Even a small weight loss, of about 5%, can decrease or slow down the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other complications of the illness, such as a raised risk of cardiovascular and kidney disease and some forms of cancer.
The report described the twin epidemics as a global health crisis and stressed the importance of eating a low-fat healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise. "If left unchecked, the outlook for world health is bleak," the report conclude

Source:  Diabetes In

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