Native Leaders Mark World Diabetes Day

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 16:05



Today is World Diabetes Day, and several Aboriginal leaders are using the occasion to draw attention to the problem in the Native population.


Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River MP Gary Merasty notes the International Diabetes Federation is paying special attention this year to diabetes in the disadvantaged and the vulnerable.


Merasty says that’s a timely theme, especially since a recent study found those living in the lowest income areas of Saskatoon were 12.9 times more likely to have the disease.


In the North, Merasty says the situation has everything to do with the high cost for healthy food.


The Assembly of First Nations says diabetes has reached epidemic levels in the First Nations population because of poverty.


The rate of diabetes among First Nations people is three to five times higher than it is for other Canadians — with one in five First Nations people affected by the disease.