Diabetes Awareness Week 2010

16 November 2010, 9:22AM

’The Silver Ferns recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise a day and encourage fellow New Zealanders to do this too, especially during Diabetes Awareness Week 2010’, Silver Ferns 


Often regarded as a mild illness rather than a life-threatening condition, diabetes is one of New Zealand’s biggest health problems and one of the national government’s top six health targets, yet most people aren’t aware of it. The aim of Diabetes Awareness Week 2010 (November 16th-22nd) is to educate and inform fellow New Zealanders about Diabetes, its causes and effects. 

Whilst the effects of diabetes can be severe, most people living with diabetes lead a happy and healthy life by being educated, informed and pro-active with their lifestyle choices. The theme of Diabetes Awareness Week 2010 will focus on simple eating and exercise tips to “Stay Sweet As!” It is partially funded by the Ministry of Health and there are a number of activities and events happening nationwide to mark the occasion.

Diabetes Awareness Week 2010 is supported in New Zealand by the Silver Ferns, Kiel Mcnaughton, Ron Crib (ex All Black), Sir Peter Leitch (AKA Mad Butcher), Kingi Biddle, Jenny Craig, Buck Shelford and politically Hon Tony Ryall, Hon Tariana Turia, and Hon Tau Henare. Internationally diabetes is supported by A-listers such as Halle Berry, Gordon Ramsay and the Jonas Brothers.

“Having seen what my sister and brother in law bravely go through every day with their young daughter Maraia's, I am more than conscious of the challenges that people face when dealing with this disease. To realise that Maraia will have to deal with injecting herself with insulin everyday for the rest of her life, is astounding given that she is still such a young girl. And yet, she already deals with the situation as though it is a routine of everyday life. I think the important thing I have realised is that the only reason Mairaia is now able to lead such a happy life in spite of this disease is the fact her parents took the time to learn about the disease and were then able to do everything they could to enable her to live to her potential."

Kiel Mcnaughton, ‘Scotty’ from Shortland Street whose 2 year old niece has Type 1 diabetes

"3 and a half years ago I was diagnosed with diabetes. It was a shock. At the hospital, I made a commitment to myself that I wouldn’t let it slow me down and it hasn’t slowed me down. Drinking and smoking are not something I want to do. Not only because I have diabetes; it’s not the lifestyle I am into. I love food but every person living with diabetes has foods that won’t work for them [sending your blood sugar soaring]. Mine are pancakes and soda." Nick Jonas, Jonas Brothers

“Diabetes is a growing concern in modern society, the symptoms are not always obvious and it is widely undiagnosed. Diabetes Awareness Week is a valuable opportunity for the wider community to learn more about simple lifestyle choices that can be made to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and take time out to seek professional advice if you are diagnosed or concerned about your health” Health Minister, Hon Tony Ryall

“The impact of diabetes is not just on our health and wellbeing. It threatens to affect our economy and workforce due to the long term effects in some people which can include amputation, death, blindness, heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease, not to mention how much it is costing tax payers in healthcare costs. It is not sustainable and we are eating ourselves into an early grave. Rather than relying on the health system to fix it we need to collectively work together to prevent it. That’s what this year's Diabetes Awareness Week is about, encouraging people to make small progressive steps in the fight against diabetes.” DNZ President, Chris Baty