Geneva. Various health experts have stated that one of the best ways to tackle diabetes in children is through proper nutrition.
They said this on Wednesday morning during a Nutrition and IDF Action to Tackle Obesity and Prevent Diabetes meeting on the sidelines of the World Health assembly tacking place in Geneva, Switzerland.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that 1.1 million children and adolescents worldwide have Type 1 diabetes and over the years Type 2 diabetes have been increasing significantly.
“Calorie dense foods known as ‘junk food’ have become increasingly affordable and available. Portion sizes have also increased considerably causing children to eat extra calories from these unhealthy sources,” the president of IDF Prof Nam H. Cho pointed out.
He added that for any action on nutrition to be effective in tackling childhood diabetes and obesity, awareness should be raised and education provided on healthy choices of nutrition in various countries.
Dr Lawrence Haddad, who is the executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (Gain) emphasized that schools could be the best setting to fight against childhood diabetes and promoting healthy lifestyles.
‘”Schools could foster supportive environment to create a better understanding of diabetes and obesity and support children with that condition,” stated Dr Haddad.
While discussing the importance of nutrition education to achieve the 2025 and 2030 diabetes/ Non Communicable Disease targets, the World Health Organization (WHO) director of Nutrition for Health and Development, Dr Francesco Branch called for implementation of policies that ensure a healthier food environment like supporting schools to promote nutritional education and healthy food consumption.
In April this year, Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Health Faustine Ndugulile told the Parliament that at least 13 per cent of Tanzanians suffer from diabetes. He also pointed out that there was an increase in cases of children suffering from diabetes in the country which he attributed to poor lifestyles and other communicable diseases.