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Diabetes, don't risk it


8:25am 14th November 2011

Monday 14th November is World Diabetes Day, the aim of the day is to raise awareness of the condition which is increasing at an alarming rate across the UK. 2.8 million people are diagnosed with the condition and an estimated 850,000 are currently undiagnosed. 85% of cases have Type 2 diabetes, which is more likely to develop in later life and is often a result of lifestyle factors such as; being overweight, obese or not being active enough.

It’s now thought that men are perhaps biologically more susceptible to Type 2 diabetes. By looking at the ages and body mass index (BMI) scores at the time of diagnosis, a recent Scottish study revealed a clear trend, with men developing Type 2 diabetes at a lower BMI than women of a similar age, indicating that men need to gain far less weight than women to develop the condition.

Those with Diabetes are five times more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, as well as being more at risk of kidney disease, eye problems and nerve damage. However, the good news is that the onset of Type 2 Diabetes can be greatly reduced by living a healthy lifestyle. Follow these simple steps to reduce your risk and help you lead a life free from this increasingly escalating condition:

Eat a balanced diet – a diet that is low in sugar, saturated fat and salt and don’t forget to include your five fruit and vegetables a day

Maintain a healthy weight –  cutting down the amount of food you eat isn’t always easy so switch to healthier foods that are naturally low in calories

Be waist wise – keep your waist measurement below 31.5 inches if you are a woman, 37 inches if you are a man. If you are an Asian man try to keep your waist measurement below 35 inches. Take extra care if you are ‘apple’ shaped to keep your waistline under control

Get physical - do at least 30 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days of the week (i.e. cycling or fast walking)

Check it out – get regular health checks and take steps to keep a healthy blood pressure and control your cholesterol levels

Drink alcohol in moderation – keep within the recommended maximum intake of 14 units per week for women and 21 units for men

Avoid tobacco – give it up for good and contact your local GP for advice on how to do so

You can do your health and your heart a big favour by making small changes to your lifestyle that will have a big impact on reducing your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. So, invest in your long-term health today and save the heartache of tomorrow.

For more information and advice about healthy living, contact Heart Research UK on or email:

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