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East End kids as young as 10 getting diabetes, warns health researchers

PUBLISHED: 18:40 23 June 2011 | UPDATED: 09:11 24 June 2011

East End healthcare

East End healthcare

Archant

Children as young as 10 are developing type II diabetes among the Muslim population in London’s deprived East End, researchers have found.

Levels increase due to a ‘lack of understanding’ about who should fast during Ramadan and what foods and eating patterns are best, according to a study by Maslaha health education charity—the name means ‘for the common good.’

The charity has also found that diabetes levels among the Muslim community increases at Ramadan.

It is running a campaign funded by Tower Hamlets NHS Primary Care Trust using the teachings of Islam together with dietary information to tackle soaring rates of diabetes.

“Exercise is extremely important,” the ‘Diabetes in Tower Hamlets’ project urges. “Read how the Prophet used to exercise.”

The month of fasting is “a good time to make changes” in diet, say campaigners who are quoting Islam to tackle the “distrust and misunderstanding” which leads to poor healthcare.

The campaign is drawing on research from leading doctors alongside religious guidance from Islamic scholars to improve healthcare attitudes. The statistics from Diabetes.org.uk show that “South Asian people in the UK are up to six times more likely to have Type 2 diabetes than the white European population.”

It also highlights that children in Tower Hamlets “as young as 10” have developed diabetes and that the level increases in Muslim communities during Ramadan due to a lack of knowledge about healthy eating.

The charity’s Bethnal Green HQ is also using the online campaign to give NHS healthcare professionals better understanding of how Islam influences a patient’s life: www.diabetesintowerhamlets.org


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