Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 14th 2015 Contents 11
Saturday, November 14, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Diabetes experts called on world leaders on
Thursday to use sugar taxes to fight obesity,
arguing such a move would save lives and slash
Ahead of a meeting of G20 leaders this week-
end, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
wants the dual epidemics of obesity and diabetes
to be placed on the global agenda alongside
major geopolitical and financial issues.
With one death every six seconds, diabetes is
now a bigger killer than HIV, tuberculosis and
malaria combined. The IDF estimates that most
countries spend between five and 20 percent of
their healthcare budget on the disease.
Type 2 diabetes, which is closely linked to obe-
sity and sedentary lifestyles, accounts for ap-
proximately 90 per cent of cases and is rising
fast, particularly in developing economies where
people are shifting to Western diets.
The largest number of diabetics in the world
now live in China.
Diabetes puts not only patients but whole
economies at risk, according to Petra Wilson,
chief executive of the IDF, an umbrella organisa-
tion of more than 230 national associations.
She urged leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) of
the world's major advanced and emerging
economies, who are meeting in Turkey on No-
vember 15-16, to cooperate in fighting obesity in
the same way as they acted together in the 2008
Wilson said the call was part of an ongoing IDF
campaign and there was no sign as yet if the G20
would address the topic.
By 2040, one in every 10 adults on the planet
are expected to be diabetic, with cases projected
to reach 642 million against 415 million in 2015
and healthcare spending on diabetes rising to
$802 billion from $673 billion.
Some countries, including Mexico,
Chile and France, have already experi-
mented with different variations of
sugar taxation but there are consider-
able political obstacles, as well as re-
sistance from the food industry.
Mexico, for example, has seen calls
by some lawmakers for a halving in the
country's sugar tax. British Prime Min-
ister David Cameron came out a
against such a tax last month, despite a
high-profile campaign for a levy on sug-
ary drinks and food.
Wilson, whose immediate focus is on
getting governments to back a tax on
sodas and other sugar-sweetened bev-
erages, admits there are hurdles but ar-
gues politicians need to protect public
health by learning the lessons from to-
"It is very well established that heavy
taxation on tobacco and relentless rein-
forcement of the message that tobacco
is unhealthy has had a very good effect.
It is time now we adopted a similar ap-
proach with sugar," she told Reuters.a
"It is, of course, more difficult with
sugar because whilst people can live
entirely without tobacco, they can't live
entirely without sugar - but humans
can live without added sugars."
People with diabetes can
benefit from drinking up to
five cups of black or green
tea per day, according to a
report by the Health Council
Only certain kinds of tea
offer the health benefits,
which include lower blood
pressure, lower risk of stroke
and increased insulin sensitiv-
ity. The tea must be green or
black, and it must not be
sweetened. Herbal teas were
not included among the
"We noted that in the sci-
entific literature in the last 10
years, there are clear signs
that drinking tea is good for
your health," said Eert
Schoten, a spokesman for the
Health Council of the Nether-
"Three to five cups a day
reduce blood pressure, dia-
betes and stroke risks, so this
comes as one of our 16 guide-
Tim Bond, of the Tea Advi-
sory Panel, agreed with the
Dutch guidelines, describing
them as "in keeping with
what we would advocate."
"A number of recent stud-
ies looking at long-term drink-
ing habits have indicated that
three to five cups of tea are
associated with reduced risk
of cardiovascular disease and
stroke," Bond said.
"Other studies in the short
term looking at risk factors
also agree that daily tea con-
sumption in this range are
likely to have a positive im-
pact on heart health."
Tea, coffee and diabetes
Several studies have linked
tea to improved blood pres-
sure, lower risk of heart dis-
ease, lower risk of type 2
diabetes and greater insulin
sensitivity. Research indi-
cates, however, that adding
milk to tea negates any im-
provements to insulin sensi-
Studies investigating the
health benefits of coffee have
reached more ambivalent
conclusions. Coffee has been
linked to a lower risk of type
2 diabetes, heart disease,
stroke, and Alzheimer's dis-
ease, but other chemicals in
coffee are associated with
impaired insulin production.
Tropical Fruit Smoothie
Enjoy a treat that's sweet and good
for you, too! This tropical fruit
smoothie makes a healthy dessert
any time of the day!
• 1 1/2 cups orange juice
• 1 can crushed pineapples, undrained
• 1 medium mango, peeled and cut into
• 1 cup halved strawberries
• 2 medium kiwifruit, peeled and quar-
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 14 ice cubes
• 1/2 cup club soda, chilled
Place 1/2 of the orange juice,
pineapple, mango, strawberries, kiwi,
honey, and ice cubes in a blender;
cover and process until blended.
Stir in 1/4 cup of soda. Pour into
chilled glasses; serve immediatedly.
Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Yeids: 7 www.diabeticconnect.com
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