In Houston, Novo Nordisk Joins Global Cities in Stand Against Diabetes
An international conference tackling the growing global diabetes epidemic has warned that obesity rates around the world must be cut by a quarter if goals to prevent more than 100 million new cases of the disease are to be met by 2045.
The findings were released in a new report — Bending the Curve on Diabetes — presented yesterday at the Cities Changing Diabetes Summit in Houston, Texas, and depict a stark future in the battle against diabetes in faster action is not taken.
According to the latest data, 1.4 billion adults are projected to develop diabetes by 2045 if current trends persist. This would mean that diabetes prevalence would reach one in nine adults or a total of 736 million people. The solution, the report concluded, lies in reducing global obesity rates by 25% over the next two decades.
Speaking ahead of the Cities Changing Diabetes Summit, a conference which brings together cities from around the world to address methods of tackling the urban diabetes problem, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed that action against diabetes has to start in cities.
“The way cities are designed, built and run, is fuelling an urban obesity and diabetes pandemic that is already shortening millions of people’s lives and resulting in billions in healthcare costs primarily related to the cost of treating complications,” Mayor Turner said.
The world’s cities are, in fact, home to two-thirds of people struggling with diabetes. If left unchecked, the number could grow to three-fourths at an estimated annual health expenditure of more than 1 trillion dollars.
“Cities are the vehicle to improving public health,” concurred Joan Hentze, Deputy Consul General and Head of Trade at the Consulate General of Denmark in New York. “Delegates from cities spanning the globe have come to meet in Houston at the Cities Changing Diabetes Summit 2017 to share knowledge, best practices and discuss how to bend the Diabetes curve globally.”
Cities Changing Diabetes is a partnership programme aimed at addressing the urban diabetes challenge. Initiated by Novo Nordisk, the programme is a response to the dramatic rise of urban diabetes and has been developed in partnership with University College London and Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, as well as a range of local partners including the diabetes/health community, city governments, academic institutions, city experts (from a variety of fields) and civil society organisations. The aim of the programme is to map the problem, share solutions and drive concrete action to fight the diabetes challenge in the big cities around the world.
Today, the programme represents 75 million citizens in nine cities worldwide, including Copenhagen, Houston, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Rome, Tianjin, Shanghai, Vancouver and Xiamen.
“The Cities Changing Diabetes Summit is a call for action,” Ms. Hentze continued. “Cities are in the frontline and we have to work together across sectors and cities to bend this curve and set local goals for each city to elaborate an action plan.”
In a press release issued before the opening of the Summit, Novo Nordisk President and CEO, Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, issued a call to all city leaders and their healthcare counterparts to “come together” and meet the global diabetes challenge “head on.”
“Now is the time to fully measure and understand the local burden of disease and to create local action plans that together can combine to bend the curve on global diabetes,” he declared. “That means taking ambitious action on the biggest modifiable risk factor for diabetes: obesity.”