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Build a healthy lifestyle to ward off the risk of diabetes

It takes 21 days to build a habit. Granted, we have a chance to build habits that promote a healthy lifestyle.

So what habits can you start building?

The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease. Going by this definition, health is not one thing, and it is definitely not the same for everyone. That notwithstanding, practices such as healthy eating, physical activity, moderated alcohol consumption and smoking cessation have been shown to be critical in achieving health, and therefore forming very good ground for habits that you can build.

Among the many threats to health, obesity is one of, if not the fastest growing challenge. It is also largely influenced by habit: basically our lifestyle. Sometimes we know what to do, but most times we miss out the why.

So why is it especially important that you set losing weight and observing a healthy lifestyle as the why for your healthy habits?

A recent study “obesity, unfavourable lifestyle and genetic risk of type 2 diabetes” has shown that obesity and unfavourable lifestyles increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of the genetic predisposition. Compared to normal weight people, obese people were almost six times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, while those who were overweight had a 2.4 risk.

On the other hand, people who had high genetic predisposition scores had twice as high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And when all three factors; obesity, unfavourable lifestyle and high genetic predisposition score, were factored, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increased upto 14.5 times.  

Notably, compared to normal weight people who had low genetic risk and observed a favourable health lifestyle, obese people were 8.4 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

As such, a healthy lifestyle, especially managing your weight could be what keeps you from getting type 2 diabetes.


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Lifelong dietary habits linked to early-life sensory experiences

When I was a little girl, my mother and I were once invited for a cup of tea by a neighbour. I quickly declined because the offer was ‘ndubia’– kikuyu for sugarless tea.

My mother says my response went something like; “I can’t take tea without sugar. Not even for money”. Ha! The irony is that years later, and presently, I do not take sugar in any beverage.

Now, children are biologically born with a tendency to prefer sweet foods over bitter foods.

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