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Professor Jim Mann extolled Dunedin's diabetes research activities as the city marked World Diabetes Day.
Dunedin staged some of New Zealand's biggest diabetes-awareness activities yesterday.
Speaking at the opening of the events at the Mayfair Theatre, the director of Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research at the University of Otago said Dunedin was one of the leading centres for diabetes research, but warned New Zealand faced a diabetes epidemic.
Otago School of Physiotherapy dean Prof Leigh Hale later launched an Otago-Southland community exercise research project.
The physiotherapy school has long been running an exercise and educational programme to counter type 2 diabetes.
Otago physiotherapy researchers recently received $1,181,772 in Health Research Council funding to undertake a three-year study of the programme's effectiveness in helping people with type 2 diabetes to manage their health.
More than 300 people volunteered to have their blood tested yesterday at Pak'n Save to determine their blood sugar status. Other testing took place at some city pharmacies.
• New Zealand faces an "epidemic" of diabetes, comprising type 1, childhood and teenage onset, and type 2, mainly adult onset diabetes, the latter comprising about 95% of cases.
• Regular, appropriate physical activity, including walking, recommended to counter the onset of type 2 diabetes.
• Care with diet also recommended to counter type 2 diabetes, including eating more vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.