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Diabetes surge in Southeast Asia

A warning has been issued about levels of diabetes in Southeast Asia due to the increasing popularity of fast food in the region. New research has highlighted that developing countries were facing a difficult period, as they were being affected by Western lifestyle diseases as well as hunger and poverty, and were unable to treat them properly due to a lack of health resources.
For instance, in a study in Vietnam found that as well as the four per cent of people who suffered from the metabolic condition, there were about 11 per cent of men and 12 per cent of women in the country who had type 2 diabetes without knowing it. The results were similar to that of a study carried out in Thailand, with the rise of Western junk food and fast food outlets being blamed for the rise.
Tuan Nguyen of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, said “Dietary patterns have been changing dramatically in Vietnam in recent years, particularly in the cities as they become more Westernised.”
Lesley Campbell, who co-authored the study, said “Unfortunately, we are watching, in just over a generatio, a very rapid increase in diabetes in developing nations.”
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, and is caused by high levels of fat and sugar in the diet combined with a lack of exercise . The research team have come up with an easy risk assessment for diabetes, which uses only blood pressure and waist-to-hip ratio to assist doctors in detecting those most likely to have the disease.

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