An expert in diabetes from Auckland, New Zealand, has played down recent claims that diabetes could make Pacific Islanders and the Maori population extinct. Type 2 is at epidemic levels in New Zealand, yet Garth Cooper, a professor of Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Auckland, said that claims were by no means certain.
He said: “It is a very serious problem, whether it will get that bad in 100 years is not clear. Based on current trends, in spite of everything that has been attempted things get worse not better … We are seeing the increase in prevalence of type 2 diabetes in teenagers and children .”
Cooper’s retort comes following recent claims by Professor Paul Zimmet, speaking at a Melbourne diabetes conference, who said that extinction of the Maori and Pacific Islanders was a ‘very real reality.’
Professor Cooper takes a more positive viewpoint, arguing that medical research (coupled with healthier living, more exercise and better diets ) would turn the situation around.

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