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Small lifestyle changes can improve every Capetonian’s life and reduce the risk of diabetes<p>Yesterday, I shared a healthy meal and had a frank discussion about living a healthy lifestyle with participants of the City of Cape Town’s recent Diabetes Healthy Living Programme pilot study.</p><p>The two participants were joined by City staff and NGO workers from the Ikhwezi Clinic. Our conversation was live streamed on social media and residents were able to ask questions and engage about the City’s Healthy Living programme.</p><p>The City’s new initiative to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks is part of the Partnership for Healthy Cities, a global network of cities committed to reducing non-communicable diseases (NCDs). </p><p>The partnership was spurred by the appointment of former New York City Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, as World Health Organization(WHO) Global Ambassador for NCDs. Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed US$100 000 to Cape Town in support of the City’s Healthy Cities Partnership efforts.</p><span><div class="image-gallery-slider img-gal-1" id="img-gal-1" data-slides="3" data-slide="1" style="height:493.5px;"><div class="image-gallery-content" style="height:414px;">​​​​ <figure class="itemSlide slide-left slide-1"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:948px;" /> <figcaption class="image-slide-text" style="display:none;"> <p> <a title="title" href="#"> <b></b></a>City of Cape Town’s recent Diabetes Healthy Living Programme pilot study.</p> </figcaption> </figure> <figure class="itemSlide slide-left slide-2"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:948px;" /> <figcaption class="image-slide-text" style="display:none;"> <p> <b></b>City of Cape Town’s recent Diabetes Healthy Living Programme pilot study.</p> </figcaption> </figure> <figure class="itemSlide slide-left slide-3"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:948px;" /> <figcaption class="image-slide-text" style="display:none;"> <p> <b></b>City of Cape Town’s recent Diabetes Healthy Living Programme pilot study.</p> </figcaption> </figure> </div><div class="image-gallery-control"><div class="image-gallery-caption"><p> <a title="title" href="#"> <b>Aerial view of Cape Town</b></a> - Loren ipsum dolor sit amet loren ipsum dolor sit amet Loren ipsum dolor sit amet.</p></div><div class="image-gallery-nav"><div class="nav-info">1 of 3</div><div class="slide-next"> <i class="icon arrow-white-next"></i> </div><div class="slide-prev"> <i class="icon arrow-white-prev"></i>​</div></div></div></div>​​</span><p> </p><p>The City’s campaign focusses on creating awareness around Type 2 diabetes and informing residents of key changes they can make towards a healthier lifestyle like cutting out white bread, sugar and sugary drinks.</p><p>As part of the Healthy Lifestyle Programme, the City has introduced a public awareness campaign and dramatically reduced the advertisement and sale of sugary drinks from municipal buildings across Cape Town.</p><p>Yesterday, our lunch consisted of raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber and olives with black bean dip, pesto and humus. </p><p>We also snacked on low GI health bread, boiled eggs, chicken breast kebabs, sardines and some fruit such as naartjies, apples and strawberries. </p><p>Last year, 15 residents from around Ikhwezi clinic participated in the three-month pilot study that took diabetic clients through a healthy lifestyle programme. Participants achieved significant improvements in their blood sugar control (measured as reduction in HbA1c levels).</p><p>Across the group, they achieved an average improvement of 12.6% in their blood sugar control, with over 50% of the group achieving more than a 1% drop in HbA1c levels. Such a reduction has been shown to significantly reduce their risk of complications such as damage to their eyesight including potential blindness, kidney damage, amputation of limbs, heart attacks and stroke. </p><p>Yesterday, Josephine Khethwa said her blood sugar was uncontrolled. </p><p>‘Since I started to eat more healthily it is now under control. I used to have swollen and painful feet and now all these symptoms have disappeared. The programme taught us how to eat healthy and what to buy,’ she said.</p><p>Khethwa was accompanied by Zethu Mabanga; Sister Nongaubani Diniso who runs Ikhwezi Clinic; Brenda Jacobs, nursing sister in charge of Lifestyle clinic and those with chronic disease; and Nikelwa Jilaji, an NGO worker who assisted on our diabetes project.</p><p>I am thankful for the great work the staff did during this programme to change residents’ lives for the better by encouraging simple healthy choices.</p><p>With the majority of the world’s population now living in urban settings, cities are uniquely positioned to transform the fight against these diseases by implementing policies to significantly reduce exposure to risk factors. </p><p>We are committed to these global goals and to saving as many lives as we can in Cape Town simply through making healthier choices.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong><br></p>2018-07-31T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891d;GP0|#904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7;L0|#0904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7|StatementsGP0|#5fb0fd45-1240-41c9-aaeb-627cbd4a11ab;L0|#05fb0fd45-1240-41c9-aaeb-627cbd4a11ab|Health;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#6f359a5c-6b7b-47bc-8437-f4d24d700325;L0|#06f359a5c-6b7b-47bc-8437-f4d24d700325|The mayor;GP0|#0209a075-c8b5-4925-aa25-3cb127163071;L0|#00209a075-c8b5-4925-aa25-3cb127163071|Diabetes1


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