With 6.91 crore diabetics, India is in second place, after China, which has 11 crore people suffering from diabetes. Around 42 crore people are suffering from diabetes in the world. Surprisingly, India is also at second place with 70.2 thousand diabetic children below 14 years, with America in the first place with 84.1 thousand kids of same age group and China is in fourth place with 30,000 kids with diabetes. In the last one decade, the number of diabetics rose by 50% in our country. It is estimated that by 2040 their number may reach 40 crores in our country and 65 crores across the world. In 1990, the number of deaths due to diabetes is 1.15 lakh, whereas, it jumped to 3.46 in 2015. At the global level, the combined total number of deaths due to malaria, TB and AIDS is 35 lakhs, whereas, 50 lakh people died of diabetes alone, which itself is indicating its severity. Either in towns or villages, most of the sufferers of Type -II diabetes are from the low and middle-income category. Another drawback of diabetes is that it is not limited to liver and it also affects kidneys, eyes, nervous system and heart. Hence, nearly two-thirds of their income is being spent on the treatment of these diseases. Changed food habits and lack of physical exercise are the main reasons for the increase in diabetic population. Reduced consumption of processed foods, sugar and sugar-containing foods (soft drinks and sweets), eating more plant-based diets than animal-based foods may prevent or reduce Type-II diabetes. A study from Cambridge University indicated that with each 5% increase of a person’s total energy intake by consuming sweet drinks including soft drinks, the risk of Type-II diabetes development may increase by 18% (Source: www. diapedia.org). Consumption of amla (Indian gooseberries), soy, broccoli, sprouts, whole grains, beans, coffee and green tea, flax seeds can help in preventing diabetes. Stop eating white rice (polished rice) is advisable to prevent and to control diabetes. Keeping the body weight under control is very important in controlling or reversing diabetes.
Dr S V N Vijayendra, Mysuru