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A new national diabetes assessment released yesterday reinforces a legacy of pandemic proportions being left for future generations, with one in three of today's Gen Ys joining the ranks of what commentators are calling 'Gen D' (or 'Generation diabetes') during their lifetime.
This report has prompted Australia's leading research and consumer advocacy groups to join forces and demand urgent and renewed focus on this significant challenge to the nation's health and economy.
As an immediate priority, re-commitment to the development of a formal national action plan in keeping with the United Nations (UN) resolution no. 61/225 on diabetes is being demanded by advocacy groups. The UN resolution is a strategic plan which recommends countries review and strengthen critical activities to contain the growth and burden of the disease.
'Time is of the essence because unlike other developed nations, despite agreeing with these global recommendations, Australia has failed to take comprehensive action and implement change,' notes Lewis Kaplan, Chief Executive Officer, Diabetes Australia.
Diabetes: the silent pandemic and its impact on Australia, launched in Canberra yesterday, is the latest comprehensive assessment of the disease's rapid growth and its impact on Australians. Researched and written by Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute in partnership with Diabetes Australia, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Novo Nordisk, the report provides a sobering reminder that in just over a decade from now, our fastest growing chronic disease, type 2 diabetes, will triple in prevalence and affect three million Australians. The report authors write that this is a tragic prediction, especially given that type 2 diabetes is potentially preventable in a substantial proportion of people.
Diabetes is an even greater issue for Indigenous Australians who are three times more likely to have diabetes than non-Indigenous Australians.
Lead author of the report, Associate Professor Jonathan Shaw, Associate Director of Clinical Diabetes and Epidemiology at the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute said that 'Our future path with diabetes is very concerning. What is critical now is for us to take urgent responsibility and act firmly and fast to contain the significant burden our younger generations and children are set to endure.'