Governments urged to tackle diabetes | News

Canada must rethink its battle plan in the fight to curb rising diabetes rates, the head of Diabetes Canada says.

“We’re seeing as we watch the diabetes epidemic escalate and escalate, it’s clear what we’re doing now is not working,” said Dr. Jan Hux in an interview Sunday. “If you look at the rates of Type 2 diabetes and obesity in the country, it’s risen dramatically. Genes don’t change that quickly, it’s our environments that have changed, that are really driving obesity and, as a consequence, Type 2 diabetes.”

Those environments include the increasing consumption of unhealthy foods and physical inactivity, Hux said.

Since 2000, the number of people in Canada with diabetes has doubled and today, one in three Canadians lives with diabetes or prediabetes — when your blood sugar is higher than it should be but not high enough to be diabetes.

Hux said a particularly alarming statistic is that Canadians aged 20 have a 50-50 chance of developing Type 2 diabetes (Type 2 is genetically or lifestyle-related, as opposed to Type 1, which is an autoimmune disorder in the same family of diseases such as multiple sclerosis).

At a conference on the weekend in Halifax, Diabetes Canada and the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism released an open letter calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and all levels of government to support a national diabetes strategy called Diabetes 360.

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