The burden of diabetes is increasing globally, particularly in developing countries. The causes are a complex, but are in large part due to rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity.
Although there is good evidence that a large proportion of cases of diabetes and its complications can be prevented by a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco, this evidence is not widely implemented.
Coordinated action is needed from the level of international and national policy to reduce exposure to the known risk factors for diabetes and to improve access to and quality of care.
More than 346 million people worldwide have diabetes.There is an emerging global epidemic of diabetes that can be traced back to rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity.
Diabetes is predicted to become the seventh leading cause of death in the world by the year 2030.Total deaths from diabetes are projected to rise by more than 50% in the next 10 years.
There are two major forms of diabetes.Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production and type 2 diabetes results from the body's ineffective use of insulin.
A third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes.This type is characterized by hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, which has first appeared or been recognized during pregnancy.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes.Type 2 accounts for around 90% of all diabetes worldwide. Reports of type 2 diabetes in children – previously rare – have increased worldwide. In some countries, it accounts for almost half of newly diagnosed cases in children and adolescents.
Cardiovascular disease is responsible for between 50% and 80% of deaths in people with diabetes.Diabetes has become one of the major causes of premature illness and death in most countries, mainly through the increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
In 2004, an estimated 3.4 million people died from consequences of high blood sugar.
80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.In developed countries most people with diabetes are above the age of retirement, whereas in developing countries those most frequently affected are aged between 35 and 64.
Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, amputation and kidney failure.Lack of awareness about diabetes, combined with insufficient access to health services and essential medicines, can lead to complications such as blindness, amputation and kidney failure.
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented.Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days and a healthy diet can drastically reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented.
Source from WHO:
Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. Optimal breastfeeding together with complementary feeding help prevent malnutrition and can save about a million child lives.
Globally less than 40% of infants under six months of age are exclusively breastfed. Adequate breastfeeding support for mothers and families could save many young lives.
WHO actively promotes breastfeeding as the best source of nourishment for infants and young children. This fact file explores the many benefits of the practice, and how robust help for mothers can increase breastfeeding worldwide.
WHO strongly recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. At six months, other foods should complement breastfeeding for up to two years or more. In addition:#2
- breastfeeding should begin within an hour of birth;
- breastfeeding should be "on demand", as often as the child wants day and night; and
- bottles or pacifiers should be avoided.
Health benefits for infantsBreast milk is the ideal food for newborns and infants. It gives infants all the nutrients they need for healthy development. It is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses - such as diarrhoea and pneumonia, the two primary causes of child mortality worldwide. Breast milk is readily available and affordable, which helps to ensure that infants get adequate sustenance.
Benefits for mothersBreastfeeding also benefits mothers. The practice when done exclusively is associated with a natural (though not fail-safe) method of birth control (98% of protection in the first 6 months after birth). It reduces risks of breast and ovarian cancer later in life, helps women return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster, and lowers rates of obesity.
Long-term benefits for childrenBeyond the immediate benefits for children, breastfeeding contributes to a lifetime of good health. Adults who were breastfed as babies often have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, as well as lower rates of overweight, obesity and type-2 diabetes. There is evidence that people who were breastfed perform better in intelligence tests.
Why not infant formula?Infant formula does not contain the antibodies found in breast milk. When infant formula is not properly prepared, there are some risks arising from the use of unsafe water and unsterilized equipment or the potential presence of bacteria in powdered formula. Malnutrition can result from over-diluting formula to "stretch" supplies. Further, frequent feedings maintain the breast milk supply. If formula is used but becomes unavailable, a return to breastfeeding may not be an option due to diminished breast milk production.
HIV and breastfeedingAn HIV-infected mother can pass the infection to her infant during pregnancy, delivery and through breastfeeding. Antiretroviral (ARV) drug interventions to either the mother or HIV-exposed infant reduces the risk of transmission of HIV through breastfeeding. Together, breastfeeding and ARV interventions have the potential to significantly improve infants' chances of surviving while remaining HIV uninfected. WHO recommends that when HIV-infected mothers breastfeed, they should receive ARVs and follow WHO guidance for breastfeeding and complementary feeding.
Regulating breast-milk substitutesAn international code to regulate the marketing of breast-milk substitutes was adopted in 1981. It calls for:
- all formula labels and information to state the benefits of breastfeeding and the health risks of substitutes;
- no promotion of breast-milk substitutes;
- no free samples of substitutes to be given to pregnant women, mothers or their families; and
- no distribution of free or subsidized substitutes to health workers or facilities.
Support for mothers is essentialBreastfeeding has to be learned and many women encounter difficulties at the beginning. Nipple pain, and fear that there is not enough milk to sustain the baby are common. Health facilities that support breastfeeding - by making trained breastfeeding counsellors available to new mothers - encourage higher rates of the practice. To provide this support and improve care for mothers and newborns, there are now more than 20 000 "baby-friendly" facilities in 152 countries thanks to a WHO-UNICEF initiative.
Work and breastfeedingMany mothers who return to work abandon breastfeeding partially or completely because they do not have sufficient time, or a place to breastfeed, express and store their milk. Mothers need a safe, clean and private place in or near their work to continue breastfeeding. Enabling conditions at work can help, such as paid maternity leave, part-time work arrangements, on-site crèches, facilities for expressing and storing breast milk, and breastfeeding breaks.
The next step: phasing in new foodsTo meet the growing needs of babies at six months of age, complementary foods should be introduced as they continue to breastfeed. Foods for the baby can be specially prepared or modified from family meals. WHO notes that:
- breastfeeding should not be decreased when starting complementary feeding;
- complementary foods should be given with a spoon or cup, not in a bottle;
- foods should be clean, safe and locally available; and
- ample time is needed for young children to learn to eat solid foods
Mushrooms have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting properties. Mushrooms contain polysaccharides that are thought to inhibit tumor growth and viral infection by stimulating immune cells. Compounds in shiitake mushrooms have been shown to trigger programmed cell death in breast cancer cells.In case control studies, consuming mushrooms regularly has been associated with decreased risk of breast cancer in both pre- and postmenopausal women. Frequent consumption of mushrooms decreased the risk of breast cancer by up to 60-70%.Similar associations were observed in studies on stomach and colorectal cancers.
From a culinary standpoint, mushrooms are excellent foods. They add unique flavors and textures to vegetable dishes, and are delicious paired with fresh herbs. Also there is a wide range of mushroom varieties to choose from, each with their own unique and interesting flavors, such as cremini, shiitake, porcini and maitake. Even the more common button mushrooms have been found to inhibit enzymes that contribute to breast and prostate cancer.Onions, garlic, scallions and leeks also provide a big burst of flavor to salads, soups and other vegetable dishes. By combining onions and mushrooms with green vegetables and beans, you can create delicious, healthful and powerfully protective meals.