Hon Judi Moylan

Focus on Diabetes Prevention

Next week for seven days the national health spotlight will shine on diabetes. Killing 2.8 million adults across the globe annually, representing one death every 10 seconds, diabetes affects 7.4 per cent of the Australian population. As the waist-lines of Australian’s continue to balloon, it has never been more important to highlight the link between diabetes, over-consumption and under-activity. As Chair of the Parliamentary Diabetes Support Group, Hon Judi Moylan Federal Member for Pearce wants all Australians to use National Diabetes Week to asses their own risk. “Type 2 Diabetes is preventable, international studies have proven that simple lifestyle changes can have a considerable impact on the incidence of diabetes”, Mrs Moylan explained. “Finish research highlighted a reduction in Body Mass Index (BMI), reduced fat intake, reduced saturated fat intake, increased fibre intake and exercise as the criteria to ward-off diabetes.” “The old adage ‘an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure’ is a relevant message, particularly during this important week.” Findings of the DiabCo$t study in 2003 confirmed the disease costs Australia an estimated $A6 billion annually, proving diabetes not only ranks high as a human burden of disease and injury, it also tugs at the nations’ purse-strings. Should Australians continue to ignore the rising tide of diabetes and related illnesses, then as Dr Villiami Puloka, Adviser to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community warned “we will become the first generation for many decades where parents will once again bury their children.” Australia has an unprecedented opportunity to recognize the human dimension of diabetes and act in a way that is beyond the constraints of electoral cycles and party politics. Prevention should include public education, alerting people to the risks of obesity. A good starting point were programs such as those implemented by the Howard Government; to engage schools and sporting organisations to encourage children to participate in physical activity and healthier eating. We need to start now, make 13 July to 19 July the week we all take a stand for our health and against diabetes.

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