How research is helping to beat diabetes

In recognition of World Health Day, Bex Chang highlights some of the recent research published in BioMed Central’s nutrition journals which focus on diabetes.

This year’s World Health Day is themed with the ambitious slogan ‘Beat Diabetes’. Since the first diabetic patient was diagnosed, to today’s world-wide epidemic of diabetes; from the Nobel Prize winning discovery of insulin, to the nowadays numerous pharmaceutical treatment and surgeries, we have been fighting with diabetes for more than a century.

Yet we are here today suffering from the heavy burden associated with diabetes, according to the World Health Day press release.

Calling for interventions

WHO says the prevalence of diabetes had nearly doubled from 1980 to 2014; 1 in 3 adult were overweight and 1 in 10 were obese in 2014; complications could lead to serious conditions with poor patient outcomes.

Once only seen in adults, diabetes has now shown an increase also in young people and children. Despite the continuous effort on treating diabetes, they also call for interventions to disease management/ complications, lifestyle education/intervention and attention to obesity in children.

Investigating via research

Recently in the nutrition journals at BioMed Central, there have been several studies looking at the above perspectives.

Cardiovascular Diabetology has recently published findings from a large cohort study in China, for the first time looking at socio-economic status and its association with biomarkers for metabolic abnormality and diabetes complications.

The analysis of over 20,000 patients suggested that lower socio-economic status is associated with poor control of blood pressure, blood lipid and blood glucose, and increased risk of diabetes complications.

The analysis of the 12-months randomized trials suggested that with the intervention, children can help significantly reduce body weight and body mass index

An interesting study in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity looks at the engaging children to push a more physically active lifestyle to their family or even the community.

The analysis of the 12-months randomized trials suggested that with the intervention, children can help significantly reduce body weight and body mass index (BMI), compared to control group.

On the other hand, a randomized controlled trial published on Nutrition Journal raised concerns about how effective nutrition education is on weight management. In this trial, the 81 healthy female participants who completed the study managed to maintain their body weight, independent of the nutrition education received. More research is called for to explore the role of nutrition education in fighting obesity and weight management.

Fighting diabetes

Moving forward, the world will not stop fighting diabetes and nor will our nutritionists all over the world. We are looking forward to publishing more exciting findings and witnessing the winning of this battle.

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