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New study reveals substantial gap in understanding of diabetes

13 November 2018 | News

The second annual 5-market study shows an improvement in the public’s understanding of multiple types of diabetes

Singapore - The latest Sun Life Financial Asia Diabetes Awareness Study themed “Family and Diabetes” reveals that although there is an improvement in awareness and understanding of Type 2 diabetes overall since the 2017 study, there is a  substantial gap between this understanding and the number of people actually taking preventative measures against diabetes, such as undertaking diabetes screening.

82% of respondents in Asia are aware that there is more than one type of diabetes, which has slightly increased since 2017 (77%). Hong Kong (from 71% in 2017 to 83% in 2018) and Vietnam (from 69% in 2017 to 86% in 2018) are the markets which have seen substantial improvement in diabetes awareness levels.

Commenting on the findings, Jeremy Young, Chief Marketing Officer, Sun Life Financial Asia, said: “It is encouraging to see an improvement in the public’s understanding of diabetes across the five Asian markets in this year’s Diabetes Awareness Survey. Sun Life, as a leading international financial services and asset management organization with a strategic focus on promoting awareness, prevention and management of diabetes to help people live healthier lives, has commissioned this year’s study to echo the theme of the 2018 World Diabetes Day – “The Family and Diabetes”. The study aims at understanding the public’s awareness of diabetes and identify the gaps in preventive measures they are willing to take to combat this prevalent health challenge.”

Encouraging support for diabetic family members by taking up a low-carbohydrates or sugar diet

Regionally, there is an increase in understanding of how a diet high in carbohydrates and not just a high-sugar diet is a risk factor for diabetes. In the 2017 study, only 51% cited a high-carbohydrates or starchy diet being a risk factor for diabetes compared to the 67% this year, which shows respondents are becoming more knowledgeable on the risks which lead to diabetes. However, despite this understanding, only 38% of respondents are willing to take up a low sugar or low-carbohydrates diet with diabetic family members.

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