The Jakarta Post
With long office hours, traffic and barely any physical work, Jakarta's young working generation is increasingly prone to diabetes.
Clinical nutritionist Nurul Ratna Manikam said that she had seen a trend toward unhealthy lifestyles among her 20-something patients, which could lead to diabetes ' a primarily lifelong metabolic disorder that features high blood-sugar levels.
Nurul, a nutritionist at Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital in Central Jakarta, said that most of her young patients worked an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift and spent their mornings and nights commuting to and from their offices. At the office, she said, they rarely pay attention to the food and beverages they consume and eat whatever is available.
They also spend most of their time sitting on a chair behind their desks or standing inside a bus or train and did not have time to work out, she said.
'By the time they get home, they sleep. They also use the weekends to have quality time with their family and rest. They are too tired to work out,' Nurul told The Jakarta Post.
This unhealthy lifestyle, she said, was common among Jakarta's young working generation. Such a lifestyle was prone to causing type 2 diabetes, since that form of the disease is mainly developed because of poor diet and lack of physical activities, Nurul said.
'In Jakarta, aside from the lack of physical activities, we also have a habit of consuming sweet food and beverages and too many carbohydrates. For example, during office meetings, we are served with sweet tea and sweet bread, along with various starchy foods. These are actually the kinds of things that we must minimize in terms of consumption in order to avoid diabetes,' she said.
Diabetes, Nurul said, could lead to various chronic and fatal diseases, such as stroke, sudden heart attack, kidney failure and hypertension, among others.
Nurul suggested that the employees must make use of their space and time for physical activities.
'For example, instead of using the elevator, take the stairs. If you have a car, park far away from the building. Or, stretch and move around a little on your chair,' she said.
Nurul also urged them to reduce their consumption of sweet food and beverages and starchy food. 'Bring your own lunch and watch what you drink or eat at the office. A good diet is key to a healthy life,' she said, adding that diabetes was not only endemic to overweight people but also to those with generally unhealthy lifestyles.
Nurul added that not all fruits were healthy. Some, she said, had high levels of fructose, of which if too much was consumed could also be bad for health.
Aside from the type 2 diabetes caused by lifestyle, type 1 diabetes, caused by genetics, is also quite common.
'If it is too little, too late, then routine treatment is the best solution. Although you cannot be fully healed of diabetes, you can take shots and medications to monitor your condition. Also, you must be very careful with what you consume,' Nurul said.
Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama said that living in the big city made people prone to various diseases, including diabetes.
'We have busy schedules, so we do not have enough time to exercise,' he has said.
Ahok added that urban people also loved hanging out in cafes and restaurants to eat sweet food. The former Bangka Belitung regent said he would build more interactive parks so people would be encouraged to do outdoor exercises.
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