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Health officials cite unhealthy lifestyle

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 16, 2009) – The number of people in the Solomon Islands with diabetes is increasing, a health official says.

In the year 2007, more than 3,000 diabetic cases were recorded in the country.

Facilitator of Non Communicable Disease Unit (NCD) in the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Mavis Kwanairara said diabetes can only be prevented if people practice and live a healthy lifestyle.

Ms. Kwanairara said change of lifestyle is one of the major factors contributing to the increase of the disease here.

"It is likely that statistic for last year and this year will increase further," she said.

"By eating the right amount and type of food, keeping fit, less stress and reduce the amount of alcohol and nicotine intake, people can prevent the disease.

"A balance diet is also an important thing people must practice in every meal.

"Food containing carbohydrates and protein should be eaten at a small proportion. Eat a lot of vegetables," Ms Kwanairara said.

"Nowadays people depended on imported food. However for those who still eat a lot of local food, eating a high quantity of carbohydrates does put them to the risk of getting the disease."

Kwanairara said physical exercise is also important and must be done all times.

She said people in town get to travel in vehicles a lot.

"From home they get to their office by vehicle, sit all day at the desk and get back home in the vehicle.

"Even in the villages where people use to paddle in their dug out canoe, today they now switched to out board engines.

"Such changes in lifestyle contribute to the number of people getting sick with the disease."

Kwanairara added Solomon Islanders tend to eat a heavy dinner at the end of each day which is one way people can become obese and diabetic.

"We should be eating a big meal at breakfast because we will then use the energy from the food during the day.

"You only go to bed after dinner."

Kwanairara said complications of diabetes include high blood pressure, stroke, blindness and others.

She said if someone gets diabetes, that person would live with the sick for the rest of their lives.

She added people with diabetes can live a normal life if they control their sugar level by living a healthy lifestyle.

"Diabetes has three types.

"Type one occurred in children, type two occurred mainly in people more than 20 years of age.

"Type three called Gestational occurred in pregnant women."

Kwanairara said type two diabetes is high in the country.

"Non communicable diseases can be prevented if people live a healthy lifestyle. People must be serious about their diet and exercise more," she said.

Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com/



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