Diabetes Australia welcomes new government funding to tackle the diabetes epidem

Diabetes Australia today welcomed the governments announcement of a $100 million Commonwealth funding injection for diabetes to be matched collectively by the states.

Following the COAG meeting in Canberra the National President of Diabetes Australia Dr Gary Deed said "As the national organisation representing people with all types of diabetes, Diabetes Australia worked hard to ensure that diabetes remained high on the COAG agenda. Government and communities at all levels must work together if we are to make any impact on the diabetes epidemic".

275 Australians develop diabetes each day in Australia. The Diabetes Australia national priorities document provided to health policy makers identified an action agenda including a call for increased research funding, establishing obesity as a chronic disease in Australia and the development of a nationally agreed diabetes risk assessment tool for people with type 2 diabetes.

"We are pleased with the Prime Ministers announcement and we look forward to working further with the government to develop diabetes strategies" Dr Deed said.


Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott today will launch a 'death defying' program for people with diabetes with the official national roll-out of LIFT FOR LIFE.

The unique program provides specialised strength training for people with type 2 diabetes or those who are at risk of developing it. The exercise program was developed by the International Diabetes Institute in Melbourne following an initial federal government grant of $2.1 million.

Mr. Abbott will announce the national roll-out of LIFT FOR LIFE - which is based on research conducted by IDI showing that diabetes control is improved in people who take part in regular supervised strength training.
The ground-breaking community program has been put into operation at 30 fitness centers and other venues across Victoria, with a further 100 locations earmarked for its implementation. Organisers hope that LIFT FOR LIFE will spread across the nation and are calling on fitness centers to adopt the program across Australia as part of a national solution to the diabetes epidemic.

IDI Director Professor Paul Zimmet AO welcomed the official start of LIFT FOR LIFE saying, "This simple but highly effective program provides older Australians with an easy way to improve their diabetes management and control and possibly prevent its onset in those at high risk. Exercise has an insulin-like effect on the body tissues enhancing metabolism. We call this program 'death defying' because of the very real health benefits that can be achieved which may help to prevent the complications of diabetes that can result in premature ill health and death".

Mr. Abbott said that in human and economic terms, diabetes was already one of Australias most costly diseases and threatened to become the greatest public health problem of the modern era.

In the program, accredited trainers introduce participants to an exercise plan in a supervised and supported environment. The eight month program is delivered in eight week cycles designed to promote good exercise habits over the longer term and to integrate strength training into peoples daily lives.

Early results have shown that in just six months blood glucose control can be improved by 14 per cent by doing regular progressive strength training.

"There is conclusive evidence that good control of blood glucose levels can substantially reduce the risk of developing complications of type 2 diabetes such as heart disease, blindness, lower limb amputation and kidney disease."

"With more than 275 Australians developing diabetes each day, the Government is to be congratulated on its initial commitment to this pioneering program. It is my hope that it will become a key part of the national strategy on diabetes prevention," Prof Zimmet said.

LIFT FOR LIFE has so far partnered with Fernwood Womens Health Club, Executive Fitness Management, Southern Suburbs Physiotherapy Clinic, South Pacific Health Club and Studio 1240 to introduce the program in Victoria.


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