What’s Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease?
Surprisingly it’s not heart disease or cancer. In fact, though this disease is preventable its affects more than 1 million people every year with the forecast total number of diagnosed cases set to triple in the next five years.
So what is the culprit, you may ask? Diabetes.
“The statistics are shocking, and we so often hear about how big the problem is, but what people really need to realise is that each and every one of us can take simple steps for a healthier life,” says Nicola Stokes, CEO of the Australian Diabetes Council.
But it’s not all bad news.
According to Stokes more than half of cases of type 2 diabetes – the most common of the two diabetes categories – can be prevented.
Making small healthy lifestyle changes can greatly decrease the chances of developing the disease and also reduce the development of complications associated with those already living with diabetes.
As we approach Diabetes Week Australia, July 9th to 15th, the Australian Diabetes Council is reminding us to take a positive outlook when it comes to safeguarding our health and the health of our loved ones:
“We want to help people to get to know their bodies and focus on enjoying life, no matter their age or what stage of diabetes they may have reached,” says Stokes.
“Diabetes not only affects the individual, but the whole family. Those with family members with diabetes are at an increased risk of diabetes themselves, making it important to work together to improve health at all ages,” she is quick to point out.
Here are the Australian Diabetes Council’s top simple tips to maintaining a well balanced diet and lifestyle:
- Small changes can have a big impact – instead of denying yourself your favourite treats all of the time, plan to be good during the working week and then let yourself indulge in something special on the weekend
- Choose fruits, unsalted nuts and seeds for healthy afternoon snacks
- Get a good night’s sleep. Ensure you get enough rest each day – this reduces stress levels and helps to minimise those afternoon cravings
- Allocate time for things you enjoy doing that don’t involve food
- Being active doesn’t have to be a chore – plan to catch up with friends outdoors or go for a walk instead