The Saint Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association (SLDHA) is concerned about the high number of individuals in Saint Lucia living with diabetes.
Association President Dr. Kedhma Dorh referred to a 2014-2015 World Health Organization (WHO) report on Saint Lucia, showing the country had a little over fourteen percent diabetes prevalence.
“We are looking at a really high number – fourteen or a little over fourteen out of every hundred persons in Saint Lucia is living with diabetes,” the Association President noted.
Dorh said the number was significant enough to take seriously.
Saint Lucia is observing November as Diabetes Awareness Month.
The SLDHA intends to help people understand, manage, and possibly eradicate the disease through various activities, including a November 30 health fair at Constitution Park in Castries.
The Association also plans to tackle misconceptions regarding diet.
Dorh observed that people who do not sweeten their beverages and avoid sugar wonder why they develop diabetes or have high blood sugar levels.
“When we mention sugar, we are referring to starch or carbohydrates. There are various forms of carbohydrates,” the SLDHA President explained.
In addition, he acknowledged people noting that diabetes was not as prevalent in the days of their parents or grandparents, yet those individuals ate what they wanted.
Dorh said that might be true to an extent, but there is no supportive data.
Nevertheless, he stated that the lifestyle has changed with technology contributing to a less active lifestyle.
“We tend to live to eat and not eat to live. Food is meant to give us nutrients, to give us energy, to give us what we need to survive,” Dorh stated.
He said the SLDHA wants to educate people on the right way to eat, especially regarding portion sizes and consumption frequency.
Dorh asserted that there is no food an individual living with or trying to prevent diabetes cannot eat.
But he revealed that the portion sizes and frequency were the important factors.