World Health Organization (WHO) statistics show Diabetes is a major problem, and is among the lead causes of death in Dominica. Meanwhile, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Representative for Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean, Dr. Godfrey Xuereb said obesity in adults has reached ‘epidemic proportion’ on the island. He made those remarks during the Dominica Diabetic Association’s (DOMDA’S) AGM held under the theme: “Waste the Waist.”
He said WHO statistics published in April, show that 1 in every 10 adults in Dominica have diabetes, and that over the last 30 years, the number of persons diagnosed with diabetes has increased from just over 5% in 1980, to almost 15 percent in 2014. He added that the number of female diabetics has tripled in one generation, and the data for men is equally grim, in that, in 1980, just under 5% of men had diabetes, and in 2016, that figure has doubled to 10%.
Dr. Xuereb stated that one of the most important risk factors for diabetes is obesity, and in that regard, the data is even more alarming for Dominica. He said “The same WHO report from earlier this year shows that over 50% of men, and over 60% of women are overweight, and one third of all women are classified as obese.
He stated further that over a quarter of all adults in Dominica are now classified as obese. He concluded that Obesity in adults has reached epidemic proportions, and is manifesting itself in the number of cases of diagnosed diabetics, and persons with high blood pressures, as well as problems associated with these two silent killers.
The problem gets worse when we considering the impact on the younger generation, the generation of the future, the ones who should be carrying Dominica through the next decades. Dr. Xuereb indicated that the latest global school-based student health survey conducted in Dominica in 2009 revealed that a quarter of all students, age 13 to 15 were overweight, and 1 in every 10 students in that age group was obese. In one generation, the problem moved from under nutrition to obesity and overweight”.
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