South Africans must get moving, literally – to prevent lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Tuesday marks the World Move for Health Day – a day set aside by the World Health Organisation to create greater awareness around the importance of physical activity in overall health and wellness.
Data from the International Diabetes Federation suggests that there were 2.28 million South Africans living with diabetes in 2015. Approximately 90% of these patients have type 2 diabetes.
Medical director of a major pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim Dr Shanil Naidoo says it is vital that citizens adopt a more active lifestyle and fun family activities such as walks and preparing healthy meals together must be encouraged.
“There is a defined link between lack of physical activity, poor lifestyle choices and the development of Type 2 Diabetes. So, these activities that seem relatively simple and straight forward have a very long lasting effect on one’s health, primarily because it avoids dangerous illnesses that are out there,” says Naidoo.
Naidoo adds,”At the moment, you have type 2 diabetes which is increasing globally, that part we do appreciate, but within Africa. In 2015, you have got just over 14 million people that have type 2 diabetes. That number would grow to 34 million in 25 years.”