KARACHI: In the sub-continent, rice and especially Biryani is one of the favourite dishes of the people but it was causing diabetes as it was full of carbohydrates with little protein. This was the unanimous opinion of the health experts at an awareness seminar held on Friday at the first session of the three-day International Diabetes and Endocrine Congress (IDEC 2016), being organized by the Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology (BIDE) of Baqai Medical University here at a local hotel. Foreign and local health experts, while urging the people to modify their lifestyle, highlighted that millions of Pakistanis were prone to diabetes or likely to have diabetes sooner or later in their lives but “Could live a happy and healthy life by educating themselves, learning about their health condition and adopting a healthy lifestyle.” Erin Little, a Type I diabetic and social mobilizer against diabetes, said since Chicken Biryani has rice and chicken and spices, therefore eating too much carbohydrates-rich dish could lead to diabetes. Biryani is popular throughout the subcontinent and is made with spices, rice, lentils, meat and vegetables. Although the origin of the dish is uncertain, however according to one theory, pulao was an army dish in Medieval India. The armies, unable to cook elaborate meals, would prepare a one-pot dish where they cooked rice with whichever meat was available. Over the time, the dish became Biryani due to different methods of cooking, with the distinction between “pulao” and “biryani” being arbitrary. Of all the popular and affordable foods available locally, Biryani continues to be a favourite dish among Pakistanis with different varieties such as Chicken Birynai, Beef Birani, White Biryani and Sindhi Biryani. Dr. Jamal Zafar, a professor of medicine from PIMS Islamabad, urged the entire society to join hands and prevent the epidemic of the lifestyle disease. “This mission starts from educating our children, who are ruining their lives by eating junk food and drinking fizzy drinks. In this way, we can save an entire generation from getting diabetes and make them productive members of society”, he added. The moot was told that Type I diabetes was not very common disease in Pakistan, where hardly 1-2 percent people were suffering from this condition. “But the most serious issue we are facing is the Type II diabetes, which is spreading due to our habits and lifestyle,” said senior diabetologist associated with BIDE, Dr. Zahid Miyan. “We need to eat balanced food, exercise daily for an hour and live a simple life. Avoid getting obese as it is the main reason behind having diabetes”, he added. Speaking at the occasion, Barbara Eichorst from United States said millions of people were living with diabetes in the world but many of them were living almost normal lives by acquiring a self-management education and healthy lifestyle. Over 50 foreign delegates, including health experts, diabetologists, dieticians, nutritionists and surgeons from 26 countries of the world and around 2,000 doctors and consultants from entire Pakistan are attending the conference. The IDEC 2016 would continue till tomorrow at the same venue.