Urban dwellers have been advised to change their lifestyle to reduce the risk of getting diabetes as Ghana joins the rest of the world to celebrate World Diabetes Day today, Wednesday, 14 November 2018.
The day has been set aside to draw attention to the disease.
In Ghana, lifestyle and urbanisation have been cited as the topmost factors accounting for the increase in diabetic cases.
The World Health Organisation estimates that over 400 million people are likely to be diagnosed as diabetic by 2030.
Speaking to Class News at a health screening and sensitisation programme to mark World Diabetes Day, a Diabetologist at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Dr Cecilia Kootin Siaw, advised Ghanaians to change their lifestyle, watch their diet and exercise more.
She said: “In Type 1 Diabetes, it is not so much of a lifestyle thing but with type 2 Diabetes, it’s mainly a lifestyle thing. There are some genetics that are involved in it, so, if you’ve got the family history then your risk is higher than somebody who doesn’t have a family history, but all in all, lifestyle plays a major role in the development of Type 2 Diabetes.
“In the rural areas, our forefathers and fathers would walk miles before they get to the farm and walk miles back, so, they would have burnt all the energy on their farms. But currently, what we find is that I, for example, wake up early, rush to beat the traffic, and, so, I get straight into the car to work. I sit down most of the time during work and sometimes even using the stairs is a problem, so, I’ll use the lift instead, and this is what is killing us.
“And, so, most of the energies we are getting from food, we are storing as fat and this is how insulin resistance comes about, as a result of fat deposition in the body and, especially in the abdominal part of the body and this is what is contributing much more to the increasing prevalence in Type 2 Diabetes.
“So, of course, urbanisation has got a lot of roles to play. So, what we are advocating is: When you have a busy schedule, you can still do something about it. In between time, walk for your lunch instead of sending someone, use the stairs instead of the lift, so, cumulatively by the time you realise, the day is over and you would have done at least 30 minutes of walking which is very helpful.”
“Again, the choice of food that we are eating, avoid fatty meals,” she added.