De Weever: Get checked for diabetes

POSTED: 11/16/12 6:06 PM

St. Maarten – Get checked and know your status as it relates to diabetes was the message that Public Health Minister Cornelius de Weever gave to the nation on World Diabetes Day on Wednesday.

“It would be better for to confirm that you don’t have diabetes or determine your risk factor. Are you overweight, what race do you come from, age and whether you have a positive family history are all risk factors that you need to know about?” he said.

Protect Our Future was the theme for World Diabetes Day.  Although adults are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with diabetes, children also need to be protected and practice a healthy lifestyle.

“It is important for us to focus on our youth by keeping them fit and healthy,” Minister de Weever.

Government currently runs a pilot school breakfast program with a physical education component. It ensures that participants are fed a well-balanced meal and that they exercise as well.

The World Health Organization has confirmed that there are 346 million people living with diabetes and this number is expected to grow without proper intervention.

He commended the Diabetes Foundation of St. Maarten (DFS) for doing an “excellent job,” and pledged to continue subsidizing the foundation.

The minister also revealed that during the DFS annual fair, which was held in June, 333 people were tested.

“It also showed that many persons in our community are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Of the total number of diabetic males and females, it was shown that 41 percent of them do not regulate their diabetes well. 17.3 percent of the non-diabetic group was not aware that they are actually diabetic. This shows that it is important to get checked,” the minister stated.

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