Health experts and medical scientists warn that more than a quarter of Pakistan’s population suffers from diabetes and if bad eating habits are not abandoned, that number will double at the same rate in the next 5 to 10 years.
According to experts, to prevent diabetes, the excessive consumption of rice and carbonated beverages must be stopped.
Experts have expressed astonishment at the growing and ‘proud trend’ of biryani as they believe that excessive consumption of biryani can be very harmful to health.
Experts believe that one of the major causes of diabetes in Pakistan is bad eating habits.
Speaking at the inaugural launch of the Diabetes Discovering Project, Internal Medicine Specialist and Endocrinologist Professor Tasnim Ahsan said there was an urgent need to reintroduce Pakistani food into the diet.
The project aims to identify unidentified diabetics in Pakistan, a joint venture between the Pakistan Endocrine Society (PES) and local pharmaceutical company PharmEvo.
Professor Tasnim Ahsan said, “Everything we eat [nowadays] should be avoided, especially rice in the form of biryani, soft drinks and so-called fast food.”
The only entertainment in Pakistan is abundant food which is making the nation sick.
“More than 50 per cent of people with diabetes are unaware of their health, only to find out when their eyes, kidneys, heart or brain have been irreparably damaged,” the Professor said.
“Precaution is better than cure, so be careful,” said Professor Tasnim Ahsan.
“The silent killer (diabetes) is devouring thousands of lives in Pakistan every year, but unfortunately most people are unaware of the causes of the disease and consider it a small problem,” said renowned diabetes expert Professor Zaman Sheikh.
“When people come to us with diabetes after living for many years, many of their vital organs have already suffered irreparable damage,” he said.
“Diabetes causes permanent damage to the eyes and kidneys, can lead to heart attacks and even fatal strokes,” said Professor Zaman Sheikh.
“People should take steps to prevent or control the disease,” he said.
Professor Javed Iqbal, a laparoscopic surgeon, said that lack of awareness about health issues is no less than a crime, as diseases like diabetes are quietly causing irreparable harm to people.
He urged the Pakistani people to change their diet and recreational habits and get tested for diabetes as soon as possible.
Haroon Qasim, Managing Director, Pharmevo, on the Diabetes Discovering Project, said that a helpline has been set up under the project so that people can know the nature of diabetes on their own and consult diabetes experts in the country.
“We believe that the way we are losing our healthy lifestyle should be a part of Pakistan’s school curriculum as more than 26% of the people in the country have diabetes and every child knows it,” he said.