The FSM National Department of Health and Human Services made a head start by leading other communities worldwide, to globally celebrate World Diabetes Day (WDD) last Friday, November 13, to increase awareness of the growing epidemic that is making a devastating impact in the FSM. World Diabetes Day is November 14th and is the world's largest diabetes campaign that was first introduced by its founders World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in 1991.
Amidst the concern of the growing threat of diabetes, the event was held at Capitol where free screening was provided, education and prevention were addressed and musical numbers performed by Ohwa High School students. A representative of Island Food Community shared a presentation on ways of promoting physical activity and the benefits of local food by providing information about the Micronesia One Diet All Today (MODFAT) plan. The MODFAT dietary plan is designed to be a healthy diet that controls and prevents Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs). This year's theme was "Make healthy eating a right, not a privilege".
According to studies, obesity and diabetes are leading health risks in Pacific Island Nations, where FSM ranks No. 2 in NCD risk factors. It has been estimated that most deaths in the country are diabetes-related.
Calling for greater action for diabetes advocacy and awareness, the Department of Health and Human Services provided participants with diabetes screening tests and various types of exercise equipment to promote physical activity.