IPOH - The Malaysian Diabetes Association has suggested that schools organise more sports activities to spur students to lead a healthier lifestyle.
"They should have more of such activities and urge children to stay back for them," said its president Prof Datuk Dr Ikram Shah Ismail.
"Otherwise, these students will just return home to their rooms and switch on their computers to play games," he told reporters after the opening of the World Diabetes Day celebrations by state Health Com-mittee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Recreational Park here yesterday.
He said he had encountered patients as young as 15 diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
Dr Ikram said diabetes was no longer an "old man's disease" as it was also afflicting people in their teens.
Once a person was diagnosed with diabetes, it would be a point of no return, he said.
"Once diagnosed, they can only control the disease with medication.
"Adopting a healthy lifestyle such as exercising is an easy and cheap way to prevent diabetes from striking at an early age," he said, adding that it was better than taking medicine.
Dr Ikram said it was regrettable that most people were aware of the disease but doing nothing to prevent it.
"The number of diabetic patients is increasing alarmingly each year," he said.
He pointed out that there was a good chance for anyone to get diabetes if one parent had it.
"There's a 90 per cent possibility of getting it if they don't lead a healthier lifestyle," he said, adding that having a parent with diabetes "should be an alarm itself to take care of your own health".
"It's no longer an option but a must if one wants to live longer."