Diabetes in Society


The global health and economic impact of tobacco

Tobacco kills half of its regular users, exacts a considerable toll in terms of disease, disability and suffering, and has a profoundly negative impact on family incomes and national economies. In this article, Derek Yach emphasizes the size of these impacts globally and in particular in China.

A holistic approach to diabetes care in Bolivia

Bolivia is a land-locked country in central South America. Bordered by five nations, it is one of the so-called developing countries; levels of infant mortality and illiteracy are among the highest in the world. While Bolivia is rich in ethnic and cultural diversity and natural resources, including silver and natural gas, the development of the nation continues to be constrained by economic and societal problems which affect all levels of society. Furthermore, the areas of health and education have

Restoring diabetes care in Rwanda: the need for effective partnerships

In 1994, more than one million people died in Rwanda in one of the worst genocides in modern times. Rwandan society, at all levels including healthcare, continues to count the human and financial costs of the tragedy – a burden which is compounded by the debilitating scarcity of resources in the nation as a whole. Most of Rwanda’s 8 200 000 inhabitants are united by poverty: according to figures published by the World Bank, the yearly per capita income in Rwanda is 220 USD.

Global mortality attributable to diabetes: time for a realistic estimate

Measures of the public health importance of a health condition include the number of people affected and the number of deaths that are attributable to it. Globally, the number of people with diabetes is estimated to be just short of 200 million. However, diabetes is rarely perceived as a major contributor to mortality, largely because routine mortality statistics are based on death certificates where

How many millions have diabetes?

It is important to know or at least be able to estimate the number of people affected by diabetes. Having this knowledge enables us to track and predict the diabetes epidemic so that healthcare can at least attempt to keep pace with the growing numbers (in practice, unfortunately, it rarely can). To have authoritative estimates of the current magnitude of the problem and projections of the likely future burden is of vital importance in continued efforts to make the case for more

Healthy food policy: is taxation an option?

Obesity is rising rapidly in adult and child populations in virtually every part of the world. This brings with it a high risk of diabetes, heart disease and other serious conditions requiring expensive long-term medical care. In this article, Tim Lobstein and Philip James look at the role of governments in influencing what we eat. The authors propose ways in which governments can help to ensure that healthy diets are chosen over unhealthy ones.

The history of diabetes nutrition therapy: from starvation to evidence-based recommendations

“For forty-eight hours after admission to the hospital the patient is kept on an ordinary diet, to determine the severity of his diabetes. Then he is starved, and no food allowed save whiskey and black coffee. The whiskey is given in the coffee: 1 ounce of whiskey every two hours, from 7am until 7pm. The whiskey is not an essential part of treatment; it merely furnishes a few calories and keeps the patient more comfortable while he is being starved.” Starvation (Allen) Treatment of Diabetes (1915).

Diabetes-related websites: are they readable?

The Internet has become a useful tool that is relatively easy to operate. With little effort, huge amounts of information can be found about specific health conditions or health in general. Views and concerns about health can be shared with literally millions of other people; spreading health information to people around the world is a simple process. Clearly however, there is a need to evaluate this information

Reviving the St Vincent Declaration

On the occasion of the signing of the St Vincent Declaration in St Vincent, Italy in October 1989, representatives of diabetes organizations and government health departments from European countries agreed unanimously on key health objectives for people with diabetes. Five-year targets were incorporated within the framework of the Declaration, which effectively recognized that diabetes outcomes were measurable; European nations were thus challenged to improve standards of care.

The nutrition transition and the global shift towards obesity

Populations worldwide are becoming more corpulent. The levels of overweight and obesity in many low- to middle-income countries such as Mexico, Egypt, and South Africa rival that of the country used as the benchmark for this problem, the USA. Moreover, the rates of increase in obesity in these countries are double to quadruple those in the USA. In this article, Barry Popkin reports on the impact of important shifts in nutritional patterns and the trend towards inactivity.