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Diabetes stings Parliamentarians

The fact politicians talk sweet is perhaps more evident in their health condition than in their behaviour.

That fact became more evident at a recent medical check-up organised by Diabetes New Zealand (DNZ) in Parliament on November 16 as a part of the ‘Diabetes Awareness Week.’

Health Minister Tony Ryall, Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples, Members of Parliament Dr Rajen Prasad (Labour) and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi (National) were among the more than 100 lawmakers who extended their arms to the medical practitioner in a bid to see if their “sweet nature” had gone to their health system.

We do not know who was diagnosed diabetic or at least stood the risk of contracting the deadly disease but a press note said that the incidence was high.

“The results were surprising for many who came away with a higher blood pressure or blood glucose (risk factors for diabetes) than expected. The onsite nurse advised them to seek further advice from a medical professional,” the press release said.

Busy lifestyle which meant stress, dining out often (perhaps everyday), consumption of alcohol and the worst of all, lack of physical exercise were stated to be among the causes for the presence of diabetes or factors that contribute to its occurrence.

Mr Ryall said diabetes was a growing concern in modern society and that the symptoms were not always obvious.

“Diabetes Awareness Week is a valuable opportunity for the wider community to learn more about simple lifestyle choices that can be made to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and take time out to seek professional advice if you are diagnosed or concerned about your health” he said.

DNZ President Chris Baty said the impact of diabetes was not just on our health and wellbeing but threatened to affect our economy and workforce.

“The long term effects in some people could include amputation, death, blindness, heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease, not to mention how much it is costing tax payers in healthcare. It is not sustainable and we are eating ourselves into an early grave,” he said.

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