President of the Diabetes Association of Barbados (DAB), Trudy Griffith, speaking on Sunday at the church service to mark the start of their annual Camp Pride week at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church.

DIABETES WORRY

Approximately 15 to 20 per cent of the adult population here is known to be living with diabetes.

This is according to President of the Diabetes Association of Barbados (DAB), Trudy Griffith, who spoke to The Barbados Advocate last Sunday after the church service to mark the start of their annual Camp Pride week at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church.

“The official statistics show that approximately 15 to 20 per cent of our adult population are known to be living with diabetes. That is one-fifth, so that gives us maybe approximately fifty thousand people,” she stated.

Furthermore, the statistics on the number of children in Barbados living with diabetes is not as forthcoming. However, what they do know is that presently, there are 75 children registered in one of the programmes that they conduct for children living with Type 1 diabetes.

“Our statistics are not as accurate as it relates to children, but we do have a sponsored child with diabetes programme where we offer support and advice to children who have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and currently we have somewhere around 75 children registered in this programme. Those are known cases and known to us,” she explained.

One of the risk factors for diabetes is obesity and being overweight. Griffith stated that she cannot provide statistics on the percentage of children in this island who are obese, but stated that there is a clear sign that some of these young people are not getting the daily recommended exercise of 60 minutes per day as can be seen in their body size.

Furthermore, if no action is taken in this regard, this country could be facing some serious issues.

“No they are not. I think that our rates of obesity are the highest that they have been ever … and it is really quite frightening because we are looking at an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes in children if we do not reverse the trend. There is a link between obesity and Type 2 diabetes,” it was further noted.

Answering a question from this newspaper with respect to a recent article where the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joy St. John, spoke about the high percentage of persons drinking fizzy drinks, the DAB president stated that she is not in a position to confirm or deny these statistics, but what their association does recommend is that people read the labels on foods and drinks before they purchase them, so that they do not exceed the recommended amount.

“We do recommend that people read the food labels of their packages before they buy them or consume them because you need to know how many carbohydrates is in your meal, so that you can make sure that you are not exceeding the recommended amount.”

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