KARACHI: Speaking at 4th International Diabetes Conference, health experts on Thursday urged people to eat less and walk more.
The conference was also organised in Islamabad and Lahore. Sanofi and the Diabetic Association of Pakistan (DAP) collaborated to bring to Pakistan's renowned international diabetes experts from globally recognized centres of academic excellence to address the Conference.
Professor Peter Schwarz, head of Department of Prevention and Care of Diabetes, Technical University of Dresden, Germany advised a 10,000- step daily walk for everyone.
"A person starting a walk of 10,000 steps daily at the age of 22 will never get a chronic disease. Walking is most important," he claimed.
Another speaker, Prof A Samad Shera, secretary general of the Diabetic Association of Pakistan and honorary president International Diabetes Federation (IDF), said key to success in fighting diabetes is awareness. Fast food and soda beverages are weapons of mass destruction.
Shera stressed the need for healthier lifestyle and regular screening for diabetes, particularly for those at high risk.
"It is far better to get diagnosed and managed early rather than allow complications to set in before seeking medical advice," he said.
Seminar was told that diabetes in Pakistan is increasing at an alarming rate. "Number of pregnant women in Pakistan suffering from diabetes is considerably higher as compared to other countries."
Approximately 7 million Pakistanis are diabetic and 1.6 million children are among them. By 2040, Pakistan is projected to have 14.4 million diabetic patients and will rank 8th in the world, they estimated.
Sanofi Pakistan Director External Affairs Laila Khan said, "At Sanofi we strive to improve the lives of people with diabetes by guiding them to manage their conditions well and live a healthy life."
Diabetes experts Sir Michael Hirst, former president International Diabetes Federation; Nam Cho, president-elect International Diabetes Federation; Rüdiger Landgraf, professor of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Diabetology at the University of Munich and co-chairman German Diabetes Foundation also spoke on the occasion.