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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Why is diabetes rising when it is preventable

Health Why is diabetes rising when it is preventable

File:First Lady, Esther Lungu, jogs while participating in the 7 kilometer walk during the ZAFFICO Copperbelt Inaugural Inter-company relay

Developing Type 2 diabetes is like getting dumped in a relationship (or a Coke machine falling over, as Jerry Seinfield once said about break-ups on the television show Seinfeld). Even if you are blind-sided when it occurs, it really doesn’t occur overnight. Instead, you may miss the many warning signs, until your doctor tells you the bad news (about diabetes, that is, and not about your relationship).

A major aim for World Diabetes Day, which is today, and Diabetes Awareness Month (which is this month, November) is to help “people learn their risk for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes along with steps to take to potentially reverse course,” as Heather Hodge, Director of Chronic Disease Prevention Programs at the YMCA-USA (also known as the Y-USA for short, in case you don’t have enough time to say the MCA) explained.

The lead up to type 2 diabetes can be missed at two different stages. The first is not properly addressing obesity or being overweight, which are major risk factors for type 2 diabetes. As the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery indicates, over 90% of those with type 2 diabetes are overweight or have obesity. Even modest weight loss (5% of body weight) can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes. With the global obesity epidemic continuing to spread and get worse more and more people are at risk for becoming diabetic.

The prevalence of diabetes has been steadily climbing, more than doubling among men and climbing by over 50% among women worldwide between 1980 and 2014. Diabetes not only can lead to major health problems such as heart disease, kidney problems, limb amputations, and early death but also costs for you, business, and society. For example, in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the average annual medical costs for those diagnosed with diabetes is around $13,700.

The stage even closer to diabetes is developing prediabetes, a condition in which your blood sugar levels are elevated (your fasting blood glucose is in the 100 to 125 range, your 2-hour Plasma Glucose between 140–199 mg/dL, or your hemoglobin A1c is between 5.7 percent and 6.4 percent) but not yet high enough to be considered diabetes. It’s a bit like your significant other suddenly getting a major makeover or a whole new wardrobe, telling you that something is imminent without really telling you. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 84 million American adults (or over 1 in 3) have prediabetes, but 90% don’t even know they have it because they aren’t getting their blood sugar checked. People who are prediabetic usually do not have any symptoms. As Hodge explained, “Without intervention, 15-30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within the next five years. When you start to talk about the effect this has on quality of life and our communities, children and wallets, the need for Diabetes Awareness Month really becomes self-evident.”

The good news is that during the lead up or the pre-game show to diabetes, diabetes is not necessarily a fait accompli or a done deal. Get your blood glucose tested to determine your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.



  1. All the references are from America, is it the case with our malnourished population ? Can’t we write our own research articles carried out out within the local population? We are getting everything in America ave simple research articles. I will do my own research on Type 2 diabetes in MISISI and CHOBOLYA

    • Zambian diets have westernized without addressing the consequences nor established the health care to counter them.
      By the way jogging is not a solution, eat healthy to start with!

    • Zimbabwe: Army tanks seen heading towards capital Harare amid rising tensions between Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and military……

  2. This article is weak as it does not explain to me why T2 diabetes is going on the rise in Zambia. The title appears to be about Zambia but when you scan through, the information / research is based on an American paper. LT please give us the Zambian findings.

    • I second you, the article should also reflect on what is real on the local front!! Even some simple Zambian statistics on diabetes!! And what is it called in one or two local languages, how do i explain it tom my grandmother in Kazhinakazhi in Mwinilunga!!

    • BREAKING: Tanks and military vehicles are blocking the roads leading to Zimbabwe capital of Harare, reports of a possible standoff between the army and President Mugabe
      3:33 PM – Nov 14, 2017

  3. Skin bleaching agents….. contain substances that can cause Diabetes.. Almost 90% of Zambia’s urban women bleach their skins..

  4. It may be possible to prevent or to delay onset of T2D through making life style changes . Reduce alcohol intake, exercise regularly and eat less carbs. Too much nsima is not good .

  5. Most of our ministries are full of dunderheads who do not do any research to enhance knowledge on Zambian scenario in all sectors. Agriculture should have been a leading research oriented ministry, followed by mining, housing, water and sanitation, energy (solar and usage of manure), food processing (under agriculture), and manufacturing – cotton, meat products, sorghum instead of maize (maize is poor for nutrition compared to sorghum), fish processing, etc. Zambia is static and uninviting in this situation because of having boneheads for leaders right across the board.

  6. Zambian research will be very helpful. Obesity is only common among those with money like Kambwili and GBM. I dont know about their eating habits. In rural Zambia my relatives are luck because their food stuff is not as processed. Experts please do a research in Zambia.

  7. Department of health or endocrinology experts over there should hold some research documents which would have been useful for headlining this report . Surely they must do some health promotion activities???

  8. This is apt. Type 2 does not need to happen. Change your diet and exercise.

    Zambians have changed their diet to more European foods, thanks Kanta, but no thanks to that Carbonara with cream.

    I was lucky to have checked my sugar recently and was issued a warning. I am now on it like a rash. Walking, Running and have changed my diet to follow the Biogenic Diet by Suzanne Kenton. It recommends eating 70 % of your diet Raw (as in salads, vegetables, veg smoothies ) with lean protein, steak, fish, prawns, chicken etc.

  9. Too much nshima and fatty relish increases risk of type 2 diabetes. The west eat too much junk food whereas in Zambia it is too much maize consumption. Stop eating too much stock feed if you cannot expend the energy the maize generates.

  10. The black man, let alone, a Zambian does not understand the white man’s ways! No one trained your doctors on how to eat responsibly. No one ever taught your doctors about what Sugar intake is doing to your health. Sugar has recently been known to be a pernicious metabolic poison! All processed food are laced with Sugar! On average, the average Zambian consummed too much sugar, half of which the body does not need. This is why some countries not strictly regulate the Sugar industry which turns out to be no better than theTobacco industry. SUGAR INTAKE IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DIABETES! Get off it!

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