The last two decades has seen the number of cases of diabetes in Australia increase significantly, according to new data.
The new web-based Diabetes Indicators in Australia report – released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) – indicates that the prevalence of diabetes in the country increased from 1.5 per cent to 4.1 per cent over the 20 years to 2007-08.
AIHW spokesperson Lisa McGlynn said that while the number of diabetes-related deaths dropped by 18 per cent in the ten years to 2007, there was still room for improvement.
"The increasing number of Australians with diabetes is still a cause for concern, as is the number of Australians with modifiable risk factors for diabetes," she said today (February 1).
"We can help manage diabetes risk by, among other things, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough exercise and eating the right amounts of fruit and vegetables."
Making lifestyle changes – such as adopting a healthier diet or beginning to exercise – may seem overwhelming to some Australians, so some private health insurance providers offer access to weight loss and management services to aid the transition.
The AIHW found that in 2007-08 almost three quarters of Australians did not get enough exercise, while 90 per cent of adults did not eat enough vegetables.