While it is true that people most at risk of contracting diabetes are often overweight, over 40 or with a family history of the disease, increasingly, even healthy people between 30 and 40 years old and young children are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
Often, people wrongly assume that because they are fit or do not feel ill, they cannot have diabetes. Oblivious that they may have the disease, they go on with their unhealthy lifestyle habits that may worsen their condition.
The fact is that anyone can get diabetes but not know it as the damage from the disease will take years to show. Going on the current trajectory, it is estimated that nearly one million Singaporeans will be afflicted by this condition by 20501. It is also estimated that, because they were never screened, people with diabetes are unaware they even have the disease.
Part of the problem is the increasingly sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle of Singaporeans who are spending more time in front of screens, sleeping less and exercising less2.
You can lower your risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes by getting better access to information, upkeeping a healthier and more active lifestyle and eating right.
Unlike what many may think, sugar and saturated fats consumption are not the only factors determining whether a person contracts Type 2 diabetes or not, rather it plays a role in a broader spectrum – the need to consume a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight.
Exercise plays an important role in reducing the risk of developing diabetes too. Many health professionals recommend targeting thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days.
As part of the nation's fight against diabetes, the Government is also introducing subsidised screenings and consultations from 1 September 2017 to encourage at-risk and even healthy Singaporeans to regularly monitor their health statuses.