Diabetes . . . don’t sugar coat it!

I recently read a news article about Yemen and the problems that people are facing, it is estimated that 85,000 children under the age of 5 have died due to starvation that is more than the population of Scarborough and Whitby combined! It is a stark contrast to a different crisis that is facing us in the UK.

Type 2 diabetes – recent figures suggest that over 7000 children in the UK are now receiving treatment for type 2 diabetes.

What is diabetes?

* It is a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high.

* It’s caused by problems with a chemical in the body (hormone) called insulin.

* Type 2 diabetes can cause symptoms like excessive thirst, needing to pee a lot and tiredness.

* It can also increase the risk of getting serious problems with the eyes, heart and nerves.

* It’s a lifelong condition which may mean a change in diet, medicine and regular check-ups.

What causes a person to develop Type 2 diabetes?

The largest contributing factor to type 2 diabetes is obesity, not only does obesity cause type 2 diabetes it is the single biggest avoidable cause of cancer. Being overweight causes the pancreas, which is responsible for insulin production, to stop working properly this is due to fat deposits that develop around the organ.

How can you reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes?

With some simple lifestyle changes you can help to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Try to reduce the amount of sugary and fatty foods you consume, and also take regular exercise.

Why is there such a jump in the number of people with type 2 diabetes around 20 years old?

There are two main reasons for this:

First of all you are not always going to have the metabolism of a 14 year old for the rest of your life! Naturally as you age your metabolism slows down. In simple terms the amount of food you eat, you are no longer using in your day to day life, so our body stores excess food as fat.

Secondly once you leave school, games lessons and PE are no longer compulsory. Even if you are not the biggest fan of games you are still quite active for about 4 hours each week when you are in school. That is 4 hours where you get to burn off some of those excess calories you may be consuming.

Stuck in our ways!

We all have habits be it good or bad. Not participating in any form of activity becomes a habit, just as participating regularly becomes a habit too. Habits can become very difficult to change. So if you have spent your whole school life trying to get out of games lessons once you leave school it is likely that physical exercise is not high on your to do list. Combine this with a slowing metabolism often results in people gaining weight. Quite often people are not aware of the changes their body is going through until they see an old photograph.

We live in a world which is moving at such a fast pace, it is important that you take time out to look after your body, be nice to it, and it may last you a lifetime!

Mr Coates

Head of Games