India is leading in diabetes: Study

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Mumbai, Jan 19: India is the leading country for diabetes with 31.7 million cases in 2000 and the number is expected to rise to 79.4 million by 2030, followed by China with 20.8 million, and the US is third with 17.7 million, according to a study.

Speaking to the reporters here yesterday, Dr Neal Barnard said according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2000, 171 million people had diabetes worldwide but it was expected to rise to 366 million by 2030. About 90 per cent of the cases are type ''two' diabetes and less than ten per cent of the cases are type ''one' diabetes.

In the type ''two' diabetes, the body continues to make insulin but the cells of the body resist its action. In the latter, the body no longer makes insulin and is be treated with insulin injections.

Diet changes can make drastic difference, sometimes eliminating the need for medications in both the cases.

Dr Barnard attributes this condition to ''westernisation of diet'' which has played a major role in this epidemic. ''Instead of exporting meat diets to India, America would do better to 'Easternise' its own diet and if Americans learn to eat dal, rice, and palak they would be slimmer and healthier,'' said Dr Barnard.

Further, he advocated plant-based diets which reduces blood sugar, cuts cholestrol and reduces body weight rather than a diet with meat, fish, poultry, milk products or eggs, sugar and oils.

''If strong action is not taken against diabetes prevalence, it will double in the next three decades,'' said Dr Barnard.


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