Mon, Nov 18, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Diabetes survey takes aim at waists

Staff writer, with CNA

People with a large waist size should take note: They and their family members are predisposed to diabetes according to a survey released by the Taiwan Millennium Health Foundation.

The survey, which targeted people aged between 40 and 49 with a waist circumference of more than 90cm for men and 80cm for women, found that one out of every three respondents was diabetic and one out of every five had at least one diabetic parent.

What is worse is that 19.3 percent of their children also have a large waist and are likewise vulnerable to diabetes.

Middle-aged people with a large waist circumference may see diabetes running through their families, the foundation said.

The people with a large waist size enjoyed eating sweets between meals and half of them do not try to control what they eat, much less watch their weight, the survey said.

Chen Yen-fang (陳延芳), a section chief of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, said waist size is strongly linked to health: Men with a waist circumference of more than 90cm and women with a waist circumference of more than 80cm are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Taiwanese Association of Diabetes Educators president You Neng-chun urged people with a large waist size to lose weight by exercising regularly and not eating excessively.

According to government statistics, Taiwan has 1.56 million people who are taking medication for diabetes, but You said that there are at least 1.7 million diabetics in the nation, but many people are unaware that they have the condition, and another 1.82 million people are on the brink of developing the disease.

Foundation president Pan Wen-han (潘文涵) said walking for 30 minutes, or taking 2,400 steps, per day would slash the risk of contracting diabetes by 50 percent. Adopting a diet with sufficient magnesium, for which green vegetables, whole grains, and beans are a rich source, could reduce the risk by 60 percent, Pan said.

You said that a blood sugar level above 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) indicates the presence of diabetes, while a level between 100mg/dl and 125mg/dl suggests a metabolism syndrome that will deteriorate into diabetes if it is not reversed through good diet and exercise.

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