There are many reasons why chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity have been on the rise for decades. Some are due to risk factors that are not preventable, such as genetic factors and the simple fact that humans are living longer.
Doing nothing to stop this rise will only lead to more human suffering and more healthcare spending. Our customers are healthcare systems and the people using our treatments. If we do nothing to prevent chronic diseases, we are not living up to our values as a company, nor are we driving a sustainable business.
But there are areas where preventive actions can have a positive effect. Increasing urbanisation, socioeconomic inequalities, less active lifestyles and poorer diets. In combination, increasing urbanisation, socioeconomic inequalities, less active lifestyles and poorer diets are often the main reasons why more and more people are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and obesity.
We want to bend the curve on the rise of type 2 diabetes and obesity. There is no doubt prevention is key.
Keep reading and see how we work with chronic disease prevention.
A 1% fall in the global prevalence of type 2 diabetes, can prevent
111 million people from getting type 2 diabetes.
Reference: A Moses et al. Illustrating the pivotal role of obesity as a driver of diabetes. [abstract]. In: 25th European Congress on Obesity; May 23–26, 2018; Vienna, Austria. Abstract T3P28
Moses, A. Lund, N. Jensen BB. Illustrating the pivotal role of obesity as a driver of diabetes. 25th European Congress on Obesity, Vienna, Austria, May 23-26, 2018: Abstracts. Obes Facts. 2018;11 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):1-364. doi:10.1159/000489691
Two out of three people living with type 2 diabetes reside in cities. The way urban areas are designed, built and run is changing the way we live and, in some cases, increasing our vulnerability to type 2 diabetes.
We coined the term ‘urban diabetes’ as a way to focus on the risk
factor inherent in cities, and launched a global public-private
partnership called Cities Changing Diabetes.
In more than 40 cities around the world, we are drawing attention to
type 2 diabetes as a crucial health issue in cities. We are working
with more than 150 partners to improve research and inform policies to
design interventions that deliver meaningful impact on the frontline
of the disease.
To learn more about our fight against urban diabetes, go to Cities Changing Diabetes.
Globally, 40 million children under the age of five are overweight. This puts them at risk of developing early onset of type 2 diabetes, and is a strong predictor of adult obesity.
These children may also face challenges in thriving and reaching
their full potential. Being overweight can contribute to
stigmatisation, poor socialisation and emotional difficulties, and in
some cases reduced educational attainment.
Together with UNICEF, we are working on the prevention of
childhood overweight and obesity. Starting in Mexico and Colombia, but
with a broader regional and global reach and impact, the partnership
aims to ‘shift the narrative’ regarding prevention of overweight and
obesity from a focus on individual responsibility to the need for
addressing environments that promote obesity.
We believe every child should have the chance to grow well in a
changing world and to fulfil their potential.
Visit UNICEF's website to see what is being done to improve the state of the world's children.