In an intersting way to combat diabetes and hypertension, residents of G North ward comprising areas around Matunga have started a six-month competition on November 14, World Diabetes Day, to find the person, with optimum weight, with the best control over cholesterol, and who puts a cap on rising blood pressure and diabetes.
In 2013, the civic health department started maintaining a database on diabetics to combat the surge of the ‘silent disease’. In its first year, the BMC recorded 26,460 Type-1 diabetes patients in the city. The numbers would be significantly higher if data from private hospitals and type-2 diabetes are included.
Aiming to create awareness about lifestyle ailments that can lead to cardio-vascular disease, a panel of three doctors will monitor the contestants for six months after counselling them about the right diet to pursue.
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The winners will be announced in May 2016 after testing every contestant for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood parameters and weight. So far, 175 residents have registered for the competition and are set to follow a nutritionist-prescribed healthy diet plan.
Corporator Sandeep Deshpande said all contestants were invited for a counselling session on Saturday. A diet chart and exercise regime was set. “In the next week, these people will get tested for all medical parameters free of cost. Their BP, hypertension, status of diabetes through HbA1C test will be recorded,” Deshpande said. After three months, all the tests will be repeated. The final tests will be carried out after six months following which the candidate performing the best, as per medical tests will be rewarded. A cash reward of Rs 1 lakh will be given.
Dr Sandeep Karambelkar, a general physician who is part of the drive, said it is an interesting method to inculcate the right food habits and exercise.
“We will be available for consultation if they have health problems during this period. A dedicated instructor will be available to help them exercise,” Karambelkar said.
Arun Sali, participating in the programme, has been suffering from diabetes for 22 years. “I take seven medicines every day. This programme will motivate others to take precautions before it is too late to control sugar levels,” he said. He has started following a diet to prepare for the contest and did not eat any sweets this Diwali.