To combat this, IDF is calling on governments to improve education on the diagnosis and management of all types of diabetes, public health education to encourage behavior change and to take preventive action by taxing unhealthy foods starting with sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks. In 2015, IDF published its Framework for Action on Sugar, which recognizes the important role that excess sugar consumption has in increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and presents policy initiatives aimed at reducing consumption of sugar and shifting to healthier foods.
In India, where more than 1 million people die of diabetes annually, Arogya World, a U.S. non-profit organization working to prevent NCDs, provides a tangible example of what can be done to combat diabetes. Earlier this month, Arogya World launched a new chronic disease prevention mobile app called “MyArogya” for working Indians. MyArogya has content on diabetes, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, as well as food and activity trackers to help people make healthy lifestyle changes. Future plans include a smoking cessation program and healthy recipe videos among other features meant to appeal to working Indians.
“I think mHealth is a really smart solution to address NCDs in India where cell phones are so prevalent,” said Nalini Saligram, founder and CEO of Arogya World. Saligram says she hopes the app, funded by the Cigna Foundation, reaches 1 million working Indians in a few years.
Saligram said mDiabetes, an earlier text messaging program started in India in 2012, was successful in reaching a million people and showing positive health behaviors. Building on that success, Arogya World developed MyArogya, which has more content and will be better able to monitor health behavior.
On Dec. 1, the IDF will release the seventh edition of the Diabetes Atlas on this website.
A Global Health TV interview explains how the U.S. is winning the battle but losing the war in the fight against type 2 diabetes.