IT is time for people to review their lifestyle and factor in exercise, according to diabetes educator Del Oliver.
Ms Oliver has been a diabetes educator for more than 10 years, and has seen rates of diabetes, particularly type 2, climb nation-wide.
Diabetes Australia is using National Diabetes Week this week to call for a national strategy to address the diabetes epidemic, which is predicted to affect more than 3 million Australians over the age of 25 by 2025.
“While doctors are doing more blood glucose testing now, which is picking up more cases, people generally are becoming less active and consuming more food, particularly takeaway meals,” Ms Oliver said.
She said she had no problem with children and adults having takeaway food once a week.
“But it is when it becomes more often than that, sometimes several times a week, it becomes a problem that is contributing to our nation’s diabetes problem,” she said.
Ms Oliver said she empathised with families who had a busy lifestyle.
“I can understand people are going to work earlier, working longer hours and coming home exhausted at night, and turning to the easier option of takeaway,” she said.
“But when that factor is combined with the extra hours people are sitting during the day, inactivity becomes a problem.”
Ms Oliver suggested families sit down and make a plan to address exercise and eating issues.
“Look at the 24-hour period on the calender and put in the hours you sleep and work. The next step is to make a plan to find time every day for some form of exercise,” she said.
Ms Oliver said part of the task for older Australians was to review their lifestyle when they were younger.
“Look at how active you were at, say age 30 and what you were eating,” she said.
She says the results will probably show people are less active and consuming more calories as they get older, when, in fact, they should be reducing them.
Ms Oliver said parents with school-aged children faced a different set of challenges.
“While some schools are working hard to find ways to incorporate more exercise into a day for children, they may sit on a bus on the way home, do their homework sitting down and then spend time on the computer,” she said.
“It all adds up to long periods of sitting with no physical activity.”
Cause for concern
THE Orange electorate has marginally better statistics for diabetes compared to Bathurst and Dubbo, but the figures are still concerning, says diabetes educator Dell Oliver.
With a population of 52,344 in the Orange electorate, which includes Mudgee, Gulgong and Wellington, there are 2871 people being treated for diabetes, representing 5.49 per cent of the population.
The Bathurst electorate’s statistics are not as healthy, with 2998 people being treated for diabetes, out of a population of 51,936 representing 5.77 per cent of the population.
Dubbo fares the worst, with 3349 people out of 51,192 being treated for diabetes, representing 6.54 per cent of the population.
“Diabetes has become a problem in Australia that is a lot bigger than anyone predicted,” Ms Oliver said.