Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Aussie ethnic minorities suffering from diabetes

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It's a complicated little world, isn't it? For example, type 2 diabetes is a growing problem in Australia, particularly in rural areas. Recently, however, some good news appeared: immigrants from Mediterranean regions living in Australia who stuck with a traditional Mediterranean diet over long periods of time, enjoyed much better health than other segments of the population. And that includes less diabetes.

But now, there's news that Australia's ethnic minorities suffer from type 2 diabetes at much higher rates than the rest of the population. Hardest hit are Asians, Pacific Islanders and people originally from the Middle East. The finding results from a survey of 11,000 Australians. There are some good reasons why immigrants suffer from diabetes more. First, those affected the worst were not able to maintain their traditional lifestyles in the new country. Fatty foods and lack of exercise are a big problem. Second, there are psychological factors contributing to poor overall health, especially the stress involved in learning to live in a new culture with a different language.

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