Manor Park GP’s warning over diet and diabetes
A Newham GP is warning the borough’s residents to tackle their poor diet and lack of exercise to stop them developing diabetes.
Dr Chandra Gowda, from the Sangam surgery in Manor Park, says he has seen a sustained increase in the number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the community.
He said: “The prevalence of diabetes in our GP practice is around 8 per cent which is well above the national average. Diabetes is a significant disease within the local community of Newham.
“I would currently estimate that 40 - 50 per cent of my consultations in the practice are related to diabetes or its complications such as heart disease, eye disease, raised cholesterol, foot problems and kidney disease. This is placing a significant demand on the resources for managing diabetes and its complications for our local population by the health services.
“Some of the key reasons for this condition developing in our local population include poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity and ethnic origin, such as being South Asian. Due to the high number of diabetic patients in our practice, I currently run a diabetes clinic with the practice nurse on a weekly basis to provide structured care for our patients.”
Dr Gowda says eating too many sugary, processed foods has a huge impact on the development of obesity which can lead to significant health problems including diabetes.
He said: “We are also seeing increased levels of childhood obesity, which is a significant problem in Newham. The promotion of a healthy lifestyle at an early age which includes eating a balanced diet including fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as regular exercise, can help prevent the development of diabetes. Prevention of these diet-related diseases is a key part of the message of health promotion for our Newham patients.”
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He is critical of the fact that several of the major sponsors of the Olympics are manufacturers of fast foods and sugary drinks. He says it sends out the wrong message.