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Apr 7, 2016

Healthy Living looks at how to prevent diabetes

Earlier in our newscast, we showed you the World Health Day Forum held under the theme “Beat Diabetes”. When we talk about diabetes, we often focus on knowing your status and also properly managing and controlling the condition for those who are affected. Health professionals across the world are urgently educating people to take action now and prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. So what do we need to do to “beat diabetes”? That’s what we look at in tonight’s Healthy Living.

Marleni Cuellar reporting:

It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t know someone with diabetes. In Belize, like the rest of the world, the numbers of persons with diabetes have been steadily increasing. Type 1 diabetes accounts for the smaller percentage – type 1 being those whose body no longer makes insulin or enough insulindue to a body malfunction. Type 2 diabetes accounts for the larger number of diabetics – type 2 is most commonly linked to lifestyle choices – which means it can be prevented or at least delayed.


Robyn Daly, Nutritionist Ministry of Health

Robyn Daly

“If you know you are predisposed you have it in the family and also looking at our current conditions. Are we overweight? Are we obese? These are some things to look at and if you are what are you doing about it? Are you trying to take measures to lose weight? So these are some things and these are in our control, so I would say most people have that ability to prevent themselves from getting it in most cases.”


Nutritionist with the Ministry of Health, Robyn Daly, says preventing or delaying diabetes can be done by changing three specific lifestyle practices.


Robyn Daly

“Lifestyle factors play a very big role in getting diabetes and when we say lifestyle factors. We are looking at the type of meals we are having; the diet. Also, are you a very active person? Do you drink a lot of alcohol? Do you smoke? SO these things help would predisposed persons to getting diabetes. Having a healthy diet, that is one of the most important steps because having an unhealthy diet causes us to gain weight, causes us to be more at risk for things like heart disease, our cholesterol level, our blood sugar level, so we need to be able to distinguish what is a healthy diet and what is an unhealthy diet. And that directly links to our portions. What we are having? In terms of how many rice we have, are we having brown rice? Are we having white rice? Do we have vegetable every day? Are we having a lot of sugary foods every day? Do we have soft drinks every day? Do we drink a lot of water? So these are some things that we need to look at personally to monitor our meals that we are having and portion size and types of foods. Sugar should never or should not be eliminated. I wouldn’t encourage anybody to really eliminate sugar it is just controlling the amount we have. And of course looking at what type of sugar we are having because yes of course the brown sugar, natural sources of sugar, stevia, honey, these are better sources of sugars for us to have rather than having the white sugar that is processed and bleached.”


With any good diet must come exercise, while many argue that there simply is no time. Daly breaks down the minimum we should be moving our bodies.


Robyn Daly

Many studies have shown its no secret once you are very active you can have a little bit more leniency with our meals we burn calories, our body functions better, our metabolism is increased with physical activity also our bodies and our blood sugar the what our bodies reduce, or bring back our blood sugar to normal levels is very much improved with physical activity. So that plays a big role not only to monitor our weight but helps in order for the body to better manage fighting diabetes or even prevention just by being physically active. And many times this is the hardest for people to do because they say they don’t have the time. A basic guide would be trying to take ten thousand steps, WHO and many of the sights shows that you know there are many different machines on your phones these days trying to encourage you to walk ten thousand steps or actually trying to let you get in at least thirty minutes most days of the week, which will be at least four days for the week or try to get at least ten thousand steps. Either way will work but that is just a basic guideline for you to follow. It doesn’t have to be much effort but you have to do some effort to look at physical activity.”


Lastly, get rid of the vices. Drinking and smoking can both increase your risk for this condition.


Robyn Daly

“We all tend to enjoy a social drink from time to time but many times there are habitual and we tend to overdo the amount that we have. How often we have it? What are we mixing it with? Many times people might take alcoholic drinks, they are mixing it with sodas, sweeten drinks, they are having more than three, more than four so just monitoring the amount we have could put us in a less position to pick up something like diabetes. Also to smoking, it might not directly affect the sugar level but it affects our health so it weakens our system and it puts us at a risk to make us more prone to be getting conditions like diabetes, not to mention also high blood pressure which again puts us at risk as well for getting something like diabetes.”


Surely none of this is new advice; but, across the globe it is recognized that the time to act is now. We must halt the rise and beat diabetes.


Robyn Daly

“It’s important for us to take action because once you get a disease or diabetes, obesity is achieved, it is very hard for many people to cope with it. And many times it is expensive to manage. And in most cases these diseases are preventable; it is just small little steps to take just having more control. Who would not want to improve quality of life, so if you want to improve quality of life, spend less on healthcare, we need to look at what can we personally start doing and just practicing these three steps and try to look in the direction of having a healthier lifestyle is the way to go.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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