Daily traffic jams in Metro Manila may cause stress that can increase the chances of developing diabetes, health experts warned.
Dr. Ma. Cecille Añonuevo-Cruz, a fellow of the Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, said that traffic jams can trigger increase in stress hormones.
The hormones regulate how the body absorbs sugar, Cruz explained.
Cruz noted that fatigue due to traffic jams can also discourage and prevent a person from having sufficient rest and engaging in exercise that the body needs.
And because people waste a lot of time in traffic jams, they tend to eat fast food or junk food because they are too tired and do not have time to cook at home, she noted.
“When you’re stuck in traffic, you will just settle on whatever food you see on the road,” Cruz said.
The Philippines is considered as a “diabetes hotspot” because around 7.3 million people in the country have diabetes, one of the four major non-communicable diseases that cause deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
Cruz said the Department of Health (DOH) should be more pro-active in informing the public how to prevent diabetes. There is a need for massive information campaign to educate and help children develop a healthy lifestyle to avoid diabetes.
“There are initiatives from the DOH regarding programs for patients with diabetes. But for preventive strategies, we have yet to see them on implementation,” she said.
“We really have to start with the children these days. In doing so, such programs should probably start in schools. That is the time they are impressionable and they may be able to change their habits,” she added.
Source and image: Philstar