By Rawan Radwan
What can you do to be part of the change?
Since 1950, the UN has marked April 7 of every year to be World Health Day. It’s a day to commemorate and celebrate the founding of the WHO and bring to attention major health related issues on a global scale.
This year’s concept is to combat diabetes, a life-long disease that affects the way your body handles glucose in your blood with alarming repercussions. There are two main forms of diabetes: type one and type two, both somewhat genetically linked but type two comprises 90 percent of people with diabetes worldwide.
Many believed that type one is mostly common in children and adolescents but with all the lifestyle changes the world is going through, more and more children and young adults are being diagnosed with type two than ever before. This is a major concern for health care providers and according to the IDF in the MENA region, it’s been recorded that there were 3.4 million cases of diabetes in Saudi Arabia as of 2015.
It’s no secret as Saudis, we love our local rich diets, and with the influx of restaurants everywhere, more and more Saudis are looking to fast food chains and local restaurants at least once a day for their meals. Physical activity is pretty much not integrated into the average Saudi lifestyle resulting in an increase in obesity, higher risk of having a heart attack, hypertension, definite increase in the possibility of getting diabetes and other major health risks that are easily preventable.
This year’s concept aims to break this bad habit. As a community, everyone should play a part in increasing and promoting healthy habits such as taking walks, letting children roam around and play, include more fruits and vegetables as well as provide healthier options in your meals, putting down that cigarette and quit all together, cut down on the fast food and sugar products and simply try to enjoy life.
The burden of diabetes is increasing globally, specifically in developing countries such as Saudi Arabia. Small and simple changes can be very effective and beneficial for you and your family in the long run.
Here’s what you could do in support of World Health Day:
- Get your blood pressure checked.
- Reduce salt and sugar consumption.
- Play sports or exercise.
- Go for a jog or a long walk.
- Include your children in some type of physical activity.