Type 2 diabetes is often the result of an unhealthy lifestyle. Symptoms can be reduced or prevented by eating a healthy diet and taking regular exercise. Researchers from Wageningen are trying to determine the best strategy for helping people in different high-risk groups to live healthier lives.
They are currently testing tailor-made lifestyle programmes in deprived areas, where diabetes is relatively common. Methods include guided tours of the local supermarket by dieticians, to show people how to eat healthily on a low income. Yet another example of how Wageningen UR is contributing to improving quality of life.
Lifestyle and diabetes
Some 90 percent of all cases of type 2 diabetes are caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Diabetes is not just an annoying condition; it shortens life expectancy by an average of five tot ten years. Patients also have an increased risk of developing other serious conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, renal failure and dementia. Cooking and eating healthily and taking regular exercise help to reduce symptoms and even prevent the disease from developing. But some people find it very difficult to change their lifestyle. Wageningen UR is currently exploring ways to help people from the lower socio-economic groups. Although on average, more people in lower socio-economic groups suffer from diabetes and obesity, these people are also the least receptive to existing lifestyle programmes. Food and nutrition researchers from Wageningen are therefore searching for an effective solution.