Lifestyle not genetics causes Aboriginal diabetes

Mon, 14 May 2007
According to researchers at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, Indigenous Aboriginal people face a much greater risk of diabetes due to a fat-rich diet, excess alcohol consumption and idleness. The conclusion raises questions about assumptions regarding ethnicity and diabetes susceptibility.

Aboriginal people, the original inhabitants of Australia, are up to 10 times more likely to be diabetic that non-aboriginal Australians. Yin Paradies, heading the study, reportedly commented: "What we've found is that there's no evidence for a gene. For indigenous people, the high rates are caused by environmental factors like stress, low-birth weight and other factors associated with poverty ."

Paradies went on record as saying that research into a ‘diabetes gene’ was not necessarily relevant, and that lifestyle was the explanation, regardless of ethnicity. Paul Zimmet, of the International Diabetes Institute, reportedly commented: "The diabetes epidemic is being driven by lifestyle factors, particularly the dramatic increase in obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity."
Leave a Comment
Login via Facebook, Yahoo! and Hotmail
or
Have your full say in the Diabetes Forum
Your comments may be moderated. Please report any spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts.