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‘Intake of sugar does not cause diabetes’
Contrary to the opinion of many, a medical expert has said that intake of sugar does not cause diabetes.
Dr Jokotola Adeleye, a diabetologist, spoke at the launch of Journalist Action Against Diabetes at the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Iyaganku, Press Centre, Ibadan.
It was at the instance of Strategies for Improving Diabetes Care in Nigeria (SIDCAIN), a group, whose vision is to prevent diabetes and hypertension through education at primary and secondary healthcare levels.
Dr Adeleye said the common saying that sugar causes diabetes is a myth, adding that diabetes was a disease that results when there is insufficient insulin, a hormone to handle sugar (glucose) that is present in the blood.
According to her: “Diabetes is a disease wherein the level of sugar in the blood is higher than it should be. Insulin is produced in the pancreas. It serves as a key that opens the door for glucose to enter the body cells.
“Whether one eats eba, rice or bread, the body breaks it down to glucose in the stomach and it is then absorbed into the blood stream and subsequently into the body cells where it is required for cell efficiency.”
Further, she stated “the amount of sugar in the blood stream will be determined by the amount of insulin available because without it, the sugar cannot enter the body cells. So there is no link between eating sugar and diabetes.”
The medical expert, who stated that excess intake of food supplies the body much more than it required and hence lead to obesity, declared that individuals that are obese or overweight were candidates for diabetes.
According to her, “the greater the increase in body weight, the greater the risk of developing diabetes.”
She lamented that Nigeria was experiencing a silent epidemic of diabetes type 2, attributing this to increasing sedentary living, family history, heredity, ageing, and wrong diet among Nigerians.
“The risk of diabetes increases with age. For instance, people above the age of 45 have a greater risk of developing diabetes type 2. But many lifestyle issues, such as lack of daily exercises and sedentary living can serve as a trigger.”
She explained, “any adult that does not have at least 30 minutes of exercises a day, like walking or dancing, is sedentary.”
She therefore cautioned against intake of diet rich in fat, little or no intake of fruits and vegetables, uncontrolled high blood pressure, all factors that are prone to diabetes, warning that the disease was better prevented than cured.
She advocated for improved town planning to ensure there are foot paths, better health care structures and facilities as well as affordability of diabetes treatment in the country.
Earlier, SIDCAIN’s project coordinator, Professor Christopher Alebiosu stated that the group decided to partner with the media to reach out to more people in the community on diabetes as well as promote healthy lifestyle, all in a bid to curtail the silent diabetes epidemic.Share
written by Ilesanmi, June 16, 2012