To contain diabetes, study wants every Malawian to consume more fruits and vegetables

A daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, even when you are diabetic or not, is a simple healthier lifestyle you need to keep you healthy when diabetic or to save from being diabetic.

Adamson Muula: Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Malawi
Chimwemwe Kwanjo Banda: PhD fellow at University of Malawi College of Medicine School of Public Health and Family Medicine and part-time lecturer in Medical and Surgical Nursing, University of Malawi

This is some of the recommendations from a College of Medicine study done by researchers Adamson S. Muula, professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and Chimwemwe Kwanjo Banda, a PhD fellow at Public Health and Family Medicine.

Other studies done in sub-Saharan Africa also suggest that many people in Malawi and Sub-Saharan Africa could be at risk of preventable diseases due to unhealthy diets.

In their study—conducted using people attending a diabetes clinic in Blantyre—Professor Muula and Kwanjo Banda wanted to understand how the said people were managing their diet and also how to identify factors that enabled or prevented healthy eating habits.

Their study showed that many people with diabetes did not follow a healthy diet, or only started eating healthy food after being diagnosed with diabetes.

Part of the reason, according to the study, is that adjusting to a healthy diet was a challenge for many.

One female participant in the study told researchers that it is not easy to just stop eating foods you are used to abruptly.

“You wake up one day, they test you, and on the same day they tell you to stop eating this, this and that. Impossible! Let’s not cheat ourselves that it is possible right away,” she said.

The study also noted that that to reduce the prevalence of diabetes in Malawi, efforts to promote healthy eating should target the entire population and not only people who have diabetes.

The study concurs with World Health Organization which recommends that interventions to promote healthy eating habits should target the entire population and not only those that have diabetes or other non-communicable diseases.

However, as way forward both with regards to those with diabetes facing dietary challenges and the general population, the study notes that media and educational campaigns conducted in other countries like the US, Australia and Pakistan reported success in increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

“A study in India showed that taxing sugar-sweetened beverages could reduce obesity and prevent occurrence of type 2 diabetes,” reads the study.

Professor Muula and Kwanjo Banda recommend that education on healthy diet and its benefits be intensified through the media and schools to increase public awareness.

“Another strategy is to subsidize the cost of production of fruits and vegetables to make them more easily available to consumers,” reads the study.

Muula and Kwanjo Banda note that the advantage of population based interventions is that they are cost effective and they benefit everyone regardless of whether they have diabetes or not.

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Mpweya zii
Mpweya zii
1 month ago

We need to grow more organic fruits to support this. Otherwise the price of fruits is prohibitive

Khima
Khima
1 month ago

I think we need just awareness, much research has been done already…and we just need to contemplate on what alternative best local foods can be consumed considering kuti nsima is the most affordable and fruits timangodyela season….komabe tithokoze for ur study.

nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
1 month ago

masamu ndiotani mukawerengera anthu a mm8dzife ndi anadya nyama sausage chips?
lelo kutiuza tizidya masamba? kunoko?

Amuna Kudambo
Amuna Kudambo
1 month ago
Reply to  nafundo zalo

Tatopa nawo masamba ndi mango ife ndiye akuti tizidzidya more fruits and veggies?

Lima
Lima
1 month ago

I am a medical doctor, a Diabetes Specialist practicing for over 40 years. To my demise, I am also diabetic. Let me commend and applaud the organisers of this study, our nation needs more knowledge and support regarding this deadly condition. I however feel compelled to mention that NOT all fruits are good for you though and if you are diabetic you really need to be careful with your fruit intake. In as much as fruits are a great source of fibre, they also contain high levels of glucose which is not good for managing diabetes. The intake of any… Read more »

Khima
Khima
1 month ago
Reply to  Lima

Well put….

Peloma Pepe
Peloma Pepe
1 month ago
Reply to  Lima

Well-said. May I humbly ask that you write an article on this? Your views here are priceless and would really help.

Last edited 1 month ago by Peloma Pepe
Lima
Lima
29 days ago
Reply to  Peloma Pepe

@Peloma – Thanks for your kind words. Nowadays. I just wanted to share my diabetic experiences with anyone who may be interested. To encourage diabetic patients to be eating a lot of fruits, it’s absolutely a no no. Not all fruits are good for you and even those that are, don’t eat a lot of them. Where possible restrict yourself to one fruit a day and make sure it’s a fruit that’s not high in glucose. Things like pineapples, tangerines and the likes that shared in my previous post, they are not ideal for a diabetic person. Diabetes is one… Read more »

Amuna Kudambo
Amuna Kudambo
1 month ago

Two things:

  1. This doesn’t need further research it’s well documented.
  2. This in not applicable to a good chunk of the Malawi population. Most of them mainly eat plenty of vegetables and fruits in season not out of choice but necessity. They eat lots of carbs as they do a lot of manual work. This applies to guys in cities and a few well to fellas in rural areas.
nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
30 days ago
Reply to  Amuna Kudambo

much of this is how well do manage our diabetic patients.
AWARENESS!!!!!!!
Be specific and elaborate on DIET.we are becoming a more lazy cultured people. TOO MUCH FATTENING FOODS HENCE 9BESITY IN OUR COUNTRY HAS BECOME A NORM. BY 2050 WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION WILL K8CK IN AND THIS WILL BE THE TOPIC ON THE FRONT PAGES.
timati tik7dya bwino kapena mwanenepa akukusamalani. EISH.
Kudya bwino sikunenepa ai koma kudya the right food.

ku midzi simudzapeza number yaikulu ya ma BP or Diabetes.

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