Defeating diabetes

In Cayman, it is estimated that some 10 per cent of the adult population lives with diabetes.

Although Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevents, Type 2 diabetes is another matter entirely. Lifestyle changes, especially in those at risk of developing the disease, can prevent the onset of diabetes.

Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and a healthy diet may sound like a lot of work, but it is a small price to pay when measured against a lifetime spent dealing with health impact of diabetes.

World Diabetes Day is celebrated on 14 November and the theme for 2009 is ‘Understand Diabetes and take control’. The aim of World Diabetes Day is to build awareness of the risk factors as well as what can be done to reduce one’s risk of developing the disease.

In Cayman, the Cayman Islands Diabetes Association supports the aims of World Diabetes Day and with its partners the Diabetic Support Group; the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports, and Culture; the Health Services Authority; and Camana Bay will be working to promote diabetes awareness not only on World Diabetes Day but throughout the month of November.

Blue is the signature colour of diabetes awareness and every year as many monuments and significant buildings as possible are lit in blue around the globe.

The fountain at The Crescent in Camana Bay will be lit blue from 4 to 6.30pm on World Diabetes Day, with Butterfield Bank and Pedro St James also set to take on a different hue. Health risk screening will be provided at the Camana Bay event, as well as games and bouncing castles for children, live music by the Cayman Islands National Wind Ensemble, as well as food and beverages by Luca, Roots and Cayman Imports. There will also be a silent auction to raise funds for the Diabetic Support Group.

The month will also see the distribution of leaflets on diabetes awareness to all middle and secondary schools. The Cayman Islands Hospital will also host an education course on managing diabetes on 16 to 20 November from 5 to 8pm.

The activities will conclude with a 5k fun run/walk for diabetes on Saturday 28 November, starting from Public Beach at 7am.   WH