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Media Release – World Diabetes Day, 14 November 2012

8th November 2012

Media Release – World Diabetes, Day 14 November 2012

Blue spotlight on diabetes with one in ten now affected

Various diabetes organisations across Australia will participate in the World Diabetes Day ‘Monument Challenge’ which will see buildings across the country and worldwide lit up in blue to raise the awareness of the disease, which now affects over one in ten Australians.

Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in Australia and while almost every Australian is familiar with the term, knowledge of how it can be identified and avoided is less widely recognised and will be put under the spotlight on World Diabetes Day on November 14.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the condition affecting up to 90% of those diagnosed and it is estimated that approximately 3.3 million Australians will have Type 2 diabetes by 2031.  While this condition usually affects older adults, more and more young people are being diagnosed, including children.

Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Director of The Glucose Club, Dr Adam Fraser says their clinics have seen an explosion of patients with Type 2 diabetes who are sadly getting younger and younger.

“Of all the treatments we use to help people manage and prevent diabetes, physical activity is by far the most effective,” says Dr Fraser.

“When our Type 2 patients start to exercise we see a dramatic improvement in their condition. In many cases we have seen people’s conditions improve so much that they are no longer classified as having Type 2 diabetes. The added bonus is that the increase in activity not only improves their diabetes but also improves their blood pressure, cholesterol profile, their mood and their mobility. Properly prescribed exercise is by far the most effective tool to treat chronic metabolic conditions like diabetes.”

Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) Executive Officer, Anita Hobson-Powell, says up to 60% of Type 2 cases can be prevented by changes in lifestyle and being aware of how diet and lack of exercise can increase the risk.

“There is compelling evidence that Type 2 diabetes is more likely to develop in individuals who are insufficiently active, so by maintaining an active lifestyle and exercising regularly you can significantly reduce your risk,” said Ms Hobson-Powell.

“The symptoms of diabetes are easily dismissed which is why we encourage people to evaluate any tell-tale signs and see their GP if they have any concerns. According to a recent report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIWH), one in four adults and one in 12 children are obese in Australia and the number of people with diabetes doubled between 1989-90 and 2007-08 from 1.5% to 4.1%…. Full media release

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