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Political Leaders Tested for Diabetes

Tony Ryall, Pita Sharples and Other Political Leaders Tested for Diabetes In Parliament

Today, November 16th 2009, Members of Parliament from the National Party, Maori Party, Green Party and Labour Party including Tony Ryall and Pita Sharples were tested for diabetes in Parliament. The event was attended by over 100 parliamentarians and the results were surprising for many who came away with a higher blood pressure (can lead to diabetes) than expected and were asked by the on-site nurses to see a medical professional for professional guidance.

The nurses carrying out the testing put this down to a busy lifestyle which includes stress, eating out a lot, alcohol consumption and lack of exercises. Many had high risk factors without realizing it or thought they were managing their health well but found out through the awareness day that there were in fact things that they could be doing a lot better. The event was useful in making many of the ministers realize that they need to be more aware of their lifestyle choices and the messages are simple: be aware of what your eating and make sure you are doing 30 minutes of exercise a day (most of them were not). There was a strong presence from Indian, Chinese, Samoan, Moari, Pacifica and Asian backgrounds and the nurses on site felt that this was a very positive sign as it is these communities in particular that are most at risk.

“Diabetes is a growing concern in modern society, the symptoms are not always obvious and it is widely undiagnosed. Diabetes Awareness Week is a valuable opportunity for the wider community to learn more about simple lifestyle choices that can be made to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and take time out to seek professional advice if you are diagnosed or concerned about your health” Health Minister, Hon Tony Ryall

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One of the practicing nurses today, who has done other awareness events in parliament said that today’s event was most successful in terms of attendance and awareness it shows just how important diabetes is as an issue and how concerned the government are about it and its causes and effects.

Other ministers that participated include (there are many others names of which can be provided on request):

National: Tony Ryall, Craig Foss, Nicky Wagner, Paul Hutchinson, Michael Woodhouse, Jackie Blue, Paul Quinn, Simon Bridges, Melissa Lee, Amy Adams, Kanwal Singh, Todd Mclay, Louise Upston, Sam Peseta, Nathan Guy, Tim Mzcinode, Chris Tremain, Cam Calder

Labour: Ross Robertson, Steve Chadwick, Rajen Prasad, Bredan Burns

Maori Party – all 5 members

Green Party – Kevin Hague and co-leaders, Sue Kedgely


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