"Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes; achieve and maintain healthy body weight; be physically active; eat a healthy diet; and avoid tobacco use," Henk Bekadam, WHO Representative to India said during a technical briefing to announce the theme for World Health Day 2016.
An estimated 69.2 million Indians are diabetics as per the International Diabetes Federation Atlas 2015. Among the population aged between 20 and 70 years, 8.7 per cent are estimated to have diabetes. However, nearly half of the population with diabetes is unaware about their disease. In 2014, out of an estimated 9.8 million deaths, 2 per cent were due to diabetes and its complications, the body said.
"Early screening, increased access to health care services, affordable diagnosis and treatment and patient empowerment for self-management are also vital components of the control of diabetes," Bekadam said.
Number of diabetes deaths in India between the age of ages 30-69 is 79,500 in males and 51,700 in females.
"There is good evidence that type 2 diabetes can be prevented by adopting a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity and maintaining a normal body weight. "Occurrence of up to 80 per cent of diabetes can be prevented or delayed through such population-based interventions," Damodar Bachani, Deputy Commissioner, Health Ministry said.