Monday, November 11, 2013

Diabetes among young on the rise, says deputy health minister

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 10 — More young people, some as young as seven, are suffering from Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and the figure is currently on the rising trend.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said it was estimated that 2.6 million Malaysians were affected by the disease and the figure could be double if unreported cases were taken into account.
He said more young people were suffering from diabetes due to the spike in the rate of obesity which is related to their imbalanced eating habits.
“Almost one in three Malaysians is either overweight or obese, placing them at a high risk for diabetes, especially young people,” he told reporters after flagging-off a walkathon in conjunction with World Diabetes Day here today.
Dr Hilmi said studies also revealed that young diabetics were usually obese, and their condition could be traced to eating too much unhealthy food and having a sedentary lifestyle.
“Due to lack of awareness of the disease, parents continue to feed their children with ‘junk’ food and I hope all parents begin guiding their children to practise a healthy eating lifestyle.”
He said the disease was not just about having excessive sugar in the blood system but could also affect the patient’s vital organs like the heart, kidneys, nerves and eyes.
Nevertheless, Penang Hospital’s Consultant Endocrinologist and Head of Endocrinology and Diabetes Unit Dr Nor Azizah Aziz said diabetes was a chronic disease which could be prevented by practising a balanced eating lifestyle and exercise.
“For those affected, diabetes can be managed to delay or prevent its complications,” she said, adding that apart from bad eating habits, irregular eating hours also contributed to the rising trend of T2D among younger people.
Dr Nor Azizah advised Malaysians to prevent, manage diabetes and its complications by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making better choices in their diet. — Bernama

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