x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Commit to good health

The UAE has one of the world's highest rates of Type II diabetes, but you can take steps to stay healthy.

Today is World Diabetes Day - an opportunity for us all to reflect on a disease that affects far too many people, and to commit to making lifestyle changes to avoid joining them.

The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 346 million people worldwide have diabetes, and that this number could double by 2030. The UAE has the second-highest rate of the disease in the world, and the highest in the Middle East.

As The National reported this week, data collected by consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton show that diabetes is a factor in 31 per cent of deaths in the UAE. Last year, the cost to the nation of diabetes was Dh24.24 billion, or 1.8 per cent of GDP - higher than in any other GCC country.

While there is much that health professionals can do to diagnose and treat the condition, Type II diabetes is also preventable. The Abu Dhabi-based Imperial College London Diabetes Centre advises that just 10 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity three or more times a day can result in health benefits. Combined with a healthy diet, one avoiding sugary foods, this can minimise chances of becoming diabetic.

The UAE offers one of the best lifestyles in the world; but it's our individual responsibility to be healthy enough to enjoy it.