By Analou De Vera
Health advocates on Thursday encouraged the public, especially the young people, to engage more on physical activities as it is one of the keys to prevent diabetes.
During a press conference for the observance of World Diabetes Day 2019 in Quezon City, the advocates underscored that children nowadays are more glued to gadgets instead of participating in physical activities.
“Now with the use of gadgets, we can see children, upon entering in a restaurant or wherever, they look at their gadgets, there are no physical activities. During our time–games like ‘tumbang preso, takbuhan,’—these are now being forgotten. We must advocate for their return,” said Diabetes Philippines President Dr. Grace Delos Santos.
Delos Santos said that a balanced diet and an active lifestyle are two important aspects for one’s health, especially for children whose family has a history of diabetes.
“Starting a good lifestyle among children is really important because as we know diabetes is a heritable disease,” she said.
Meanwhile, good parenting also plays a big role in the prevention of diabetes, said Dr. Theresa Faller, president of American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists–Philippine Chapter.
“Nowadays people are so busy… We want to discipline our children by making them quiet… so you provide them with these gadgets and not actually encouraging them to go out,” said Faller.
“We have to encourage our children to engage in sports. It’s not only just playing ‘patintero’ and all that. Sports environment should be a very important advocacy for our children,” she added.
Doing exercise for at least 30 minutes will help in maintaining a good and healthy body, said Dr. Jeremy Robles, president of Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism.
“The recommendation of the American Diabetes Association was that we spent 30 minutes of exercise every other day. Look at it in a bigger picture. All of us have a potential to go into this problem because of our lifestyle… so we have to change our lifestyle,” said Robles.
“Diabetes does not choose if you are rich or poor; if you are young and old,” he added.
Meanwhile, General Manager of Novo Nordisk Philippines Serdar Kizilcik has emphasized the importance of early screening.
“It is likely that diabetes affects you or someone close to you. Being aware of this is part of the shared responsibility between doctors and patients to screen for diabetes and work towards early control of the disease to avoid complications such as blindness and renal failure,” he said.
Importance of urban planning
Danish Ambassador to the Philippines Grete Sillasen, meanwhile, said that programs for urban development should involve how to get their citizens active.
“If you give people the infrastructure for having a better life, they will actively use it. If you put up a park, people will come and exercise,” said Sillasen.
“What we have done in Copenhagen, which is a great success, is we have bike lanes everywhere and we have secured pavements everywhere. Today, 62 percent of the people in Copenhagen go to their work or study place by bike,” the ambassador noted.
Sillasen said that exercise is “even much better” if it’s part of one’s daily routine.