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Combat Diabetes By Strengthening Families

11 August 2005

Combat Diabetes By Strengthening Families

Destiny New Zealand spokesman for Health, Dr Edward Saafi, has applauded the opening this week of the Edgar National Centre for Diabetes Research (ENDCR) at the University of Otago.

“The Labour government has failed to recognise and acknowledge the diabetes epidemic that is on the rise in New Zealand. While quality research in this area is imperative the root issues to diabetes come out of the quality of home environment,” says Dr Saafi.

A research scientist specialising in diabetes, Dr Saafi says seven percent of adult New Zealanders of European descent, and 20% of people with Maori and Pacific Island descent are estimated to currently have Type 2 Diabetes. Recent findings also reveal that people with diabetes today are more obese than five years ago, and the prediction of 250,000 New Zealanders having diabetes by 2021 is of a major concern.

“If we are serious about getting to the heart of this epidemic we must restore strength to the family unit. The home is where our children learn life’s disciplines, which include healthy lifestyle choices and eating habits,” he added.

Dr Saafi also challenged parents to take responsibility for the eating habits and diet of their children.

ENDS

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