Rising diabetes and obesity rates a disaster for Asian Countries

Wed, 06 Sep 2006
As China, India and other Asian countries have modernised they have also developed an alarming concentration of diabetes and obesity . In the future, experts have warned, the problem could undermine the region's social and economic advancement.

Whilst diabetes is not simply a problem of the Asian world, six Asian countries are listed in the World Health Organisation top ten for the greatest prevalence of diabetes. These are India, China, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Asia houses two-thirds of the world's diabetic people, approximately 90 million throughout the region, according to the International Obesity Task Force chairman, Paul Zimmet. The numbers are not slowing down, and Zimmet estimates that by 2025, the Asian diabetic population could be approaching 200 million. The rate of obesity amongst children in Asia is increasing rapidly.

The obesity epidemic is blamed on rapid economic development and the erosion of traditional working and diet practices. Sedentary, western-influenced, urban lifestyles have led to an obesity explosion. Furthermore, imports of high-fat, high-calorie foods are having an influence. Fat poses the greatest challenge to the future of the region, and the greatest healthcare burden.

The growth of diabetes amongst children, and the possible implications for the future, are both alarming and terrifying.
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