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November 14, 2012

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

40% of locals too fat, risk diabetes

ABOUT 40 percent of local adults are overweight or obese and a quarter don't get enough exercise, which are major reasons that diabetes is increasing in the city, said Shanghai Health Bureau officials ahead of today's World Diabetes Day.

About 1.5 million residents in the city have diabetes and some haven't gotten their glucose under control.

According to the health bureau, diabetes has become the nation's third leading disease after cancer and vascular diseases of the heart and brain. About 92.4 million Chinese adults over 20 years old have the disease.

The country's rate of diabetes has risen from 2.5 percent in 1994 to 9.7 percent in 2011, according to a report by Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Hubei Province.

The rising number of elderly people, unhealthy diets, obesity and sedentary lifestyles are all risk factors for diabetes.

Some 31 percent of local residents are overweight while 9 percent are considered obese, the Shanghai Health Bureau found in a survey in 2010 of some 17,000 residents between 15 and 69. And about 38.5 percent of people had excess fat around their waists, a major risk factor.

A body mass index or BMI of over 24 indicates overweight. Obesity starts at a BMI of 28. BMI helps measure the amount of body fat based on height and weight.

These are lower thresholds than in the West due to genetic differences.

Health officials said diabetes patients need lifelong monitoring and treatment. If glucose is out of control, it can result in multi-organ complications and vascular disease, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage that can lead to amputation.

Shanghai began a non-communicable disease prevention and control plan in 2001, carrying out community-based public education, high-risk population screening, intervention and patient management.

Health experts will be available for consultation this morning at Jing'an Park in Jing'an District as well as at local commercial centers, hospitals and communities, according to the bureau.


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