Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Strategy Launched Europe-Wide

A new type 2 diabetes prevention strategy launches in Europe. Titled, IMAGE (Development and Implementation of a European Guideline and Training Standards for Diabetes Prevention), aims to promote exercise, healthy diet and nutrition, and encourage healthy lifestyle habits to stop the alarming increase of type 2 diabetes and people at-risk for the disease.

Diabetes is a world-wide epidemic. Analysts estimate diabetes will double or triple by 2025. Type 2 diabetes, or adult onset diabetes, is usually caused by lifestyle choices and obesity, and comprises the majority of diabetes patients. The IMAGE project is hoping to put a major dent in current European diabetes statistics.

The Europe-wide recommendations to prevent type 2 diabetes is based on research that reveals 1 in 10 Europeans, aged 20 to 79 will develop diabetes by 2030. The highest increase of diabetes is effecting the age group between 30 to 40 years old. (IMAGE)

"Diabetes now accounts for up to 18 per cent of total healthcare expenditure in Europe and costs an estimated £9 billion per year in the UK."

Recent studies on type 2 diabetes causes have revealed that obesity is one of the major triggers. At-risk people with a 'metabolic trajectory' for developing diabetes because of excess fat stores in the body are encouraged to immediately change their nutritional habits.

At-risk people that are able to allow moderate changes to their lifestyle could see their risk for type 2 diabetes disappear altogether. "People receiving interventions to support changes in diet and physical activity was halved (49 percent) compared with people receiving usual healthcare."

People who made 4 out of 5 lifestyle changes that included lifestyle habit changes, weight loss, exercise, decreased fat intake and a healthy diet found the rate of progression to reach 0 percent. Not one person ended up developing the disease.

The IMAGE Project

The acronym IMAGE stands for Implementation and Innovation. Management and Motivation. Awareness and Acceptance. Guideline and Good Quality. Education & European Strategy. The innovative project received funds from the European Union (EU) that totaled €1.2 million.

The EU Conference on Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes in Vienna in April 2006 initially discussed the plans to begin prevention programs for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes complications were a major health concern for the conference and leaders aimed to changed what was projected for type 2 diabetes in the future.

The U.S. has raised type 2 diabetes prevention in a number of ways. Michelle Obama launched her program "Let's Move" to prevent childhood obesity, which can lead to adult onset diabetes. The American Diabetes Association also raises awareness with testing campaigns and events throughout the year.

Research on a type 3 diabetes was recently unveiled by Dr. Magda Havas who suggested blood glucose levels might be triggered electromagnetic fields. Type 3 diabetes is labeled environmental diabetes and is still under review. The current knowledge on causes for diabetes is sufficient enough for everyone to start living a healthier lifestyle. Exercising and eating right will not only prevent type 2 diabetes but other health complications that arise from sedentary, unhealthy lifestyles.

Written by Amy Munday

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