April 7th every year has been recognized globally as World Health Day. This years’ celebration happens to be unique in that the focus is on DIABETES mellitus, why the spotlight on this complex disease? Diabetes indeed requires huge attention because it is a silent killer.
The intention of this campaign is to draw interest to issues of paramount importance to people living with Diabetes and creates global awareness to put Diabetes in public view.
From the recent International Diabetes Federation ( IDF) framework for Action on sugar published, the IDF supports the WHO conditional recommendation to reduce sugar intake to 5% daily energy intake. IDF calls on national governments to implement policies to reduce sugar consumption and advocates specific measures to increase the access to healthy alternatives such as fresh fruit and vegetables and clean drinking water, in order to prevent new cases of type 2 Diabetes.
The WHO have published a guideline which recommends that adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake, in view of the known health risk of overweight and obesity, increased risk of NCD, and other dental caries.
Some Countries like Finland, France and Mexico have introduced taxes in an effort to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, Nigeria as a Country can start by creating awareness to its teeming youth population. I was particularly excited when I learnt some schools turn down parents from including sugars in the provisions of their children on resumption, it is certainly a step in the right direction that should be emulated.
As we celebrate this years’ World Health Day, those involved in Diabetes awareness should work even more harder and every individuals should be concerned about their status. A simple text of few seconds can go a long way in helping one position himself for a good quality Life.
Isaac Y. Akogu
Expert Trainer (Diabetes Conversations Map TM).