The cheapest way to address diabetes
Original article from AVRDC-South Asia
Hyderabad, India -- “The costs of diabetes runs into billions and billions of dollars each year but almost nothing is being spent to combat this problem at its agricultural source,” stated Dr. Dyno Keatinge, Director General of AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center when initiating the annual Diabetes Day walk at the ICRISAT campus in Hyderabad, India.
Hundreds of staff participated in the walk to raise awareness of the growing problem of diabetes and how to counter it. Dr. Willie Dar, Director General of ICRISAT reminded participants that Hyderabad is one of the epicenters of diabetes in India, and that India will soon have the world’s largest number of diabetics.
Type II diabetes is primarily diet and lifestyle induced. Dr. Keatinge reminded everyone that “For most people diabetes is a self-imposed disease but if we act appropriately we are perfectly able to avoid it.” What we eat begins with what farmers can grow, and what they grow is shaped fundamentally by agricultural research.
He said that “It is a tragedy that agricultural and medical research have been separated for so many years, but at last they are now coming together.” One way that this is happening is through the AVRDC bitter gourd project.
Vegetables like bitter gourd can reduce blood sugar levels when consumed correctly. Bitter gourd provides a food based solution for diabetics trying to manage their disease, and this is particularly important for those who cannot afford medication.
The bitter gourd project involves partners from India, Asia, Africa and Europe and is the first to systematically research which bitter gourd varieties have most health benefits, how they should be prepared and what health impacts this can have. AVRDC staff handed out bitter gourd recipes to all participants in the ICRISAT diabetes day walk.
Dr. Keatinge stated that “Centers like ICRISAT and AVRDC working on legumes, vegetables and fruits need support to help overcome this problem of diabetes.” He later gave a seminar at ICRISAT headquarters on “Why vegetables are vital” to build on the awareness created through the Diabetes day walk. He concluded that every dollar spent now on agricultural projects like the bitter gourd research could return a hundred-fold in the future.
Dr. Dyno Keatinge with Dr. Warwick Easdown (AVRDC-South Asia Director) and AVRDC-South Asia staff participating in the Global Diabetes Walk hosted by ICRISAT, India.
Neeraja Kotamarthi and Rehana Shaik handing out bitter gourd pamphlets to participants of the Global Diabetes Walk
"Global diabetes walk"
ICRISAT, AVRDC for agri, nutrition research to fight diabetes
ICRISAT takes up fight against diabetes, through legumes, fruits, vegetables
ICRISAT, AVRDC for agri were part of Global Diabetes Walk
Fruits vegetables to fight diabetes
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