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Prevention of 3 lakh diabetes cases possible by cutting sugar in fizzy drinks: Lancet

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Washington: A significant study revealed that by cutting sugar in sweetened drinks by 40 percent, over three lakh obesity-related Type 2 diabetes can be prevented.

An average reduction in energy intake of 38.4 kcal (calories) per day by the end of the fifth year will lead to an average body weight decrease of 1.20 kg in adults, leading to a reduction in overweight and obese adults by approximately 0.5 million and 1.0 million, respectively, researchers have found.

This would, in turn, prevent 274,000-309,000 obesity-related Type 2 diabetes over the next two decades.

If fruit juices were excluded from sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), the corresponding reduction in energy intake and body weight would be 31.0 kcal/day and 0.96 kg, respectively.

“This would result in a 0.3 million cases reduction in overweight and a 0.8 million cases reduction in obesity, which would, in turn, prevent around 221,000-250,000 diabetes cases over two decades,” the study noted.

The study, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, was led by Professor Graham MacGregor, who chairs the Action for Sugar group.

The impact was greater in adolescents, young adults and individuals from low-income families who consume more sugary drinks.

According to the authors, the strategy, if adopted would lead to an extensive reduction in energy intake from sugar-sweetened beverages and could, therefore, lower the predominance of overweight, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes in the long term.

“The findings provide strong support for the implementation of the proposed strategy,” they added.

They conclude that “individuals should also reduce their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in the long term, but this can be difficult because of the advertising power of industry”.

“Our proposed strategy provides an innovative and practical way to gradually reduce energy intake from sugar-sweetened beverages and its combination with other strategies, including a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, would produce a more powerful effect,” they noted.

Dr Tim Lobstein, director of Policy, World Obesity Federation London wrote in a linked comment piece that the study has proved to be extremely essential to policymakers. (IANS)

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Indian Entrepreneurs Build Mobile Apps To Help Patients With Diabetes

New app to help track diabetes in rural India

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check-up for diabetes
Check-up for Diabetes. Pixabay

Researchers have developed an innovative smartphone app that could enable community health workers track the growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, especially in the rural areas.

Named “Smart Health”, the app will be used by community health workers called as ASHAs, who will be trained to screen and identify people suffering from diabetes or at high risk of the disease in the rural communities.

The ASHAs will then offer them lifestyle and diet advice, refer them to a doctor for drug treatment, and follow up on their adherence to treatment and control.

Diabetes
Diabetes. Pixabay

“Around 50 million people in India have Type 2 diabetes and that number is growing every year. The app will help people living in rural areas to access timely, affordable and guideline-based healthcare in the community, reduce the risk of developing life-threatening complications and ultimately save lives,” Vivekanand Jha, Professor and Executive Director of The George Institute for Global Health, said in a statement.

“Digital technology coupled with using the experience and knowledge of local health workers. This is innovation at its best,” he added.

An estimated 25 million people have diabetes in rural India and the number is rising rapidly, the statement said.

The app will expand the role of community health workers with digital technology and help address the growing burden on chronic disease.

It can also serve an example to other countries struggling with the rising cost of providing essential healthcare to their citizens, the researchers said.  IANS

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