“World Diabetes Day” is observed on November 14 every year worldwide in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2015 is – “Healthy Living and Diabetes”.
Diabetes affects about 382 million people worldwide and is a leading cause of disability and death. It is estimated that, by the end of 2040, more than 640 million people will be living with this chronic disease. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), over 30 million adults and children in the United States have diabetes.
Diabetes is a complicated health condition. Higher than normal blood glucose levels pose an increased risk of severe health complications such as high blood pressure, vision loss, heart disease, cholesterol, kidney failure, leg and feet amputation, and premature death.
Jointly launched by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and World Health Organization (WHO) in 1991, World Diabetes Day unites the global diabetes community to raise diabetes awareness and advocacy. Over the years, this observance has proved effective in spreading awareness about the syndrome, its causes and symptoms, its prevention and the devastating effects that it has on human lives worldwide. It recognizes that though diabetes is a serious condition, it can be managed if individuals, communities, health care providers, and policy-makers are provided with and use the information and tools to encourage and support behavioral change.
Diabetes can be prevented with a few simple lifestyle changes:
- Be physically active. Exercise will help you lose weight and lower your blood sugar levels
- Make sure your diet includes fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Focus on variety and portion control, but make sure you get essential nutrients
- If you are overweight, take steps to lose weight. Enroll in a weight loss program
As part of this year’s campaign, hundreds of campaigns and activities will be conducted worldwide to raise awareness and encourage more people to take steps to prevent this devastating disease. These include free screenings for diabetes and its complications, sports events for adults and children, exhibitions, conferences and workshops.