U.S. Department of State Program for Diabetes Awareness in Kuwait Highlights Prevention Opportunities at Home and Abroad
Madeira Beach, FL – Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions worldwide and Kuwait is no exception. With diabetes rates in Kuwait approaching the 5th highest in the world, the U.S. Department of State initiated a program for Kuwaitis to exchange information with American diabetes expert, Andrew P. Mandell – Mr. Diabetes®, Executive Director of Defeat Diabetes Foundation (www.DefeatDiabetes.org).
“Kuwait is, unfortunately, replicating the diabetes growth pattern of the United States and now has a full blown diabetes epidemic,” said Mandell. “But, it isn’t too late for them, or for the United States, to turn it around.”
Mandell’s extensive speaking schedule, during his visit, included presentations to students and faculty at several colleges, universities and high schools, the AWARE Center, a select group of religious leaders at Kuwait’s Grand Mosque, The Dasman Diabetes Institute and other medical professionals.
Mandell traced the diabetes epidemic in the U.S. to societal changes that began immediately after World War II and compared that to the Kuwait oil boom of the 70’s as the catalyst for their diabetes epidemic. “Understanding the forces that contributed to the epidemic provides us with potential tools and solutions to slow the acceleration of the problem,” stated Mandell.
In addition, Mandell presented material about the warning signs and complications, importance of early identification of the disease and a nutritional diet featuring 5-9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables, limited amounts of whole grains and lean proteins, and daily physical activity. He also emphasized the importance of avoiding fast foods, refined carbohydrates (empty calories) and sugary beverages, which are a problem the U.S. and Kuwait also share.
“The reasons for the Type 2 diabetes epidemic are complex. Diabetes and its causes are so pervasive this disease must be tackled at every level of government, business, and society as a whole. Whether it’s in Kuwait or the United States, everyone must get personally involved if we are to end this epidemic. After all, one of every three children will develop diabetes in their lifetime unless we take steps immediately to prevent it. Type 2 diabetes is up to 95% preventable – but, there is NO CURE! Clearly, we all have a stake in ending this epidemic.” Mandell continued.
“Preventing diabetes is about living just a little bit healthier every day. There isn’t a magic bullet to dramatically fix this problem overnight. But, you can make small changes each and every day until they become habits. It’s important for all of us to learn what we should be eating and act as role models for our children. In this way we can help them form healthy eating and exercise habits they will carry throughout their lives,” said Mandell.
“Finally, we need to work together to create healthier communities by supporting farmers markets, restaurant menu labeling, healthy school lunches with plenty of fruits and vegetables and no sugary beverages, and building walk and bike paths so people can get out of their cars and exercise in safety. It’s not one BIG thing, it’s hundreds of little incremental changes that are going to make the difference in ending this epidemic,” concluded Mandell.
Defeat Diabetes Foundation is offering an entire month of activities at their website this November to promote Diabetes Awareness Month. The calendar links you to articles, downloads, tools, puzzles and games, nutrition tips, healthy recipes and more. There, you will also find recommendations for special time with the family and everyday activities to improve your well-being, such as family dinners, try a new veggie Friday, take the stairs Tuesday, visit an orchard or cider mill, or go on an outdoor scavenger hunt.
Mandell has also participated in a U.S. Department of State sponsored digital diabetes conference in Eritrea, Africa and served as a peer reviewer for Department of Defense diabetes grant programs.
About Defeat Diabetes Foundation
Defeat Diabetes Foundation (DDF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity with a 21 year history of diabetes education, early identification and prevention programs. We’re on a mission to save children and their families from the pain of diabetes by working with individuals and organizations worldwide through awareness and education programs.
Our programs include: The Kid Initiative to Defeat Diabetes® (KIDD™) is an umbrella of programs designed to educate and inform children and their families of the dangers of diabetes. KIDD™ components include: KIDD™ curriculum, Defeat Diabetes® Screening Test Brochure Program, KIDD™ Speakers Program, the DDF website (www.DefeatDiabetes.org) with over 5,000 pages of information, monthly E-Lerts™ newsletter focusing on latest news and treatments, and more.
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