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How to avoid or delay the onset of Diabetes

The NYTimes has an article on how Diabetes is spreading at an alarming rate in India. (via)

India and China are already home to more diabetics than any other country. Prevalence among adults in India is estimated about 6 percent, two-thirds of that in the United States, but the illness is traveling faster, particularly in the country’s large cities.

Throughout the world, Type 2 diabetes, once predominantly a disease of the old, has been striking younger people. But because Indians have such a pronounced genetic vulnerability to the disease, they tend to contract it 10 years earlier than people in developed countries. It is because India is so youthful — half the population is under 25 — that the future of diabetes here is so chilling.

The conventional way to see India is to inspect the want — the want for food, the want for money, the want for life. The 300 million who struggle below the poverty line. The debt-crippled farmers who kill themselves. The millions of children with too little to eat.

But there is another way to see it: through its newfound excesses and expanding middle and upper classes. In a changing India, it seems to go this way: make good money and get cars, get houses, get servants, get meals out, get diabetes.

In perverse fashion, obesity and diabetes stand almost as joint totems of success.

So why is this so important. This is because uncontrolled diabetes is one of the leading causes of kidney failure, limb amputation and new-onset blindness. People with diabetes are also two to four times more likely than those without diabetes to develop heart disease.

Genetics also plays a role, your chances of getting diabetes are about 20 per cent if your mother suffers from it, 14 per cent if your father has it, 75 per cent if a brother or sister has it and 99 per cent if you have a twin with diabetes.

The Hindu has an article on how millions of high-risk people can go for diet, exercise and behaviour modification to avoid developing type 2 diabetes.

Some of the steps include :

- Walking 30 minutes each day, at least five times a week (150 minutes per week)

- A low fat diet with at least five servings of vegetables and fruits per day

- Substituting fruits for sweets

Any more suggestions are welcome.

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