Bunbury residents are being urged to “take their health more seriously” this National Diabetes Week, with statistics revealing the disease is prevalent in the South West region.
Data shows currently 5 per cent of Bunbury’s population has diabetes, equating to more than 2000 individuals – just below the national average of 5.1 per cent.
Diabetes WA clinical services manager Rebecca Flavel said lifestyle choices were a key reason for people being diagnosed with the disease.
“Where the rates are higher, we find there are more takeaway outlets and sometimes less infrastructure to encourage people to exercise, which makes it hard for those residents to make healthy choices,” she said.
“I think ultimately people have to take their own health more seriously and take diabetes seriously.
“The fear is letting diabetes become a normalised condition. It is something that is preventable.
“A weight loss of five to ten per cent for most people can stop or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.”
Ms Flavel said there were certain factors, such as genetics and age, that were out of people’s control and played a role in the diagnosis of diabetes
In a bid to improve South West diabetes rates, a new health program is being launched by Diabetes WA.
Let’s Prevent is a free health program designed to help adults avoid or delay type 2 diabetes, heart disease or stroke that will start in August with community members able to sign up now.
Based on the philosophy that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to managing health, Let’s Prevent is designed to equip participants with practical information and skills so that they can decide how they want to improve their lifestyle, and by how much.
Diabetes WA general manager Deb Schofield said it wasn’t a weight loss or exercise program.
“This is a health program that supports people to make small, positive changes to their lifestyle that can make a big difference to their health in the future,” she said.
For more information contact 1300 001 880 or visit diabeteswa.com.au.