VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Canadian Diabetes Association has changed its name, kicking off a fresh campaign to bring awareness to a disease that affects about one-third of Canadians.
The association, now known as Diabetes Canada, has launched “End Diabetes” with a music video highlighting a need for support for people living with the disease.
Sheila Kern with the organization says millions of people are living with diabetes in Canada.
“Today there are 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or pre-diabetes. That’s one in three of us,” says Kern.
“There are 1.5 million people living with diabetes or pre-diabetes in British Columbia. That represents 29 per cent of our population.”
And it’s only going to get worse.
“If you look at the forecasted numbers for 2027, 10 years from now, that number is estimated to grow to 32 per cent of the population.”
While there might not be an exact reason why more Canadians are being diagnosed with the disease, Kern says there’s a number of factors that can contribute.
“There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 (an autoimmune disease), and Type 2,” she says, explaining Type 2 is a little more complex than Type 1.
“Type 2 is brought on by many factors from lifestyle — exercise, diet. But it’s also things including genetics, family history, age, gender, or ethnic background. There are also things that make it difficult to access healthy choices: low income, remote communities, a lack of a walkable neighbourhood. These all contribute to the rise of Type 2 diabetes in Canada.”
Kern says they’ve created a movement to catch the attention of Canadians in order to decrease the stigma and encourage those with the disease to seek the help they need.
You can assess your risk for the disease with an online test.