As the consumption of fast food and soft drinks rises in Vietnam, the number of diabetes patients there has shot up to dangerously high levels according to new data.
Vietnam’s vice minister of health, Nguyen Thanh Long told reporters last week that diabetes patients in Vietnam nearly doubled in the past decade to 5.4 percent of the population, or more than four million patients.
Figures from the ministry say that Vietnam is now among the top ten countries with the highest rates of diabetes patients in Asia while its patient growth has broken into the world’s top ten.
According to ThanNien News:
The disease is surprisingly more common in rural than city areas. Mekong Delta has the most patients, followed by the central region, the Red River Delta including Hanoi and the eastern region including Ho Chi Minh City.
Phan Huong Duong, deputy director of the National Hospital of Endocrinology in Hanoi, said the patients are also getting younger.
People used to start having type 2 diabetes around the age of 40 but many patients diagnosed in Hanoi were as young as 10, Duong said at the meeting.
Health experts blame the situation on unhealthy diets that involve a large intake of sugar and include a large amount of fast food and soft drinks.
Vietnam’s National Institute of Nutrition found in 2015 that Vietnamese consume too much starch and sugar –with the amount consumed daily having doubled in the past decade while the vegetable intake has dropped to half the quantity advised by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Many are pointing the finger of blame at parents for letting children consume an excess of sugary drinks and sweetened milk.
One can of the typical soft drinks can contain 36-63 grams of sugar –far exceeding the adult max recommendation of 20 grams of sugar a day.