Bumper crowds support UAE's largest public health awareness event
- United Arab Emirates: Saturday, November 17 - 2012 at 11:14
- PRESS RELEASE
A bumper crowd of around seventeen thousand joined Walk 2012 to pace the F1 track at Yas Marina Circuit calling attention to the crucial role of regular exercise for a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy nation (November 16 2012).
The International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) Diabetes Atlas 2012 confirms that more than 371m people are living with diabetes, up from 366m in December last year.
In the UAE, 18.9% of the population is estimated to have diabetes, half of whom would not be aware. Globally, it is thought that 187m people have not yet recognised the symptoms.
Dr Maha Taysir Barakat ICLDC's Medical & Research Director and Consultant Endocrinologist confirmed that diabetes can be hard to recognise.
"Many people have diabetes without having any symptom and therefore without knowing they have it. This is why it is so important for people to have screening tests if they are considered at risk," she said.
Dr Maha confirmed that the 'at risk' group is above 40 years of age and may have other family members living with diabetes, and of course at any age if there are recognisable symptoms.
Usual symptoms include thirst, passing urine frequently and tiredness. However, these symptoms often have other non-worrying causes.
Dr Maha also noted, "Walk 2012 has drawn the largest crowds yet, up from 4,500 when the event started six years ago. It is part of Walk for Life, a key pillar in ICLDC's long-running public health awareness campaign 'Diabetes-Knowledge-Action'."
"Walk 2012 has received tremendous response from the all corners of the community. This is particularly important because we must all be aware that there is a tendency towards a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet. This combination has contributed to increased obesity and helped fuel diabetes prevalence in the region," she added.
"But the good news is that a 30-minute brisk walk taken every day in combination with a balance diet is all it takes to adopt a healthy lifestyle that can help prevent diabetes and its related complications," Dr Maha stressed.
Meanwhile, Daman's CEO Dr Michael Bitzer, said, "He was overwhelmed with the show of support." "We always had high expectations for this year's event, but to actually see the so many family, friends and colleagues here, all committed to playing their part in encouraging a healthy nation on the back of the increased figures from IDF is something else. I am truly delighted," he concluded.
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