Are South and East Asian ethnicities at higher risk for diabetes? Health study investigates


Diabetes is on the rise in Canada according to the Canadian Diabetes Association, but certain Asian cultures are at a higher risk than other ethnic groups.

Vancouver Coastal Health is holding a study starting Dec. 2 targeting South Asian and East Asian residents, aged 20 to 39, focusing on diabetes.

Participants will receive an honorarium of $50 upon taking part in the study, which requires them to submit a blood test, drink a sugar drink, and give a second blood test two hours later.

Could the Canadian diet be to blame?

Maylene Fong, an investigator with Vancouver Coastal Health, said that the reasoning behind the elevated risk is not clear, but dietary differences could be to blame. 
According to Fong a big part of the problem is the inclusion of more processed food after moving to Canada.

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Abhirath Thakur, a Douglas College student believes that people of East Indian descent are at higher risk of diabetes, but not because he thinks Canada is unhealthy.

“[It’s] because of the food we eat,” said Thakur.

He said that East Indian cooking includes a lot of sugar and deep-frying.

“You add so much. It’s like three hours of cooking where you add so much oil and so much butter,” he said.

“Even our sweets have a lot of sugar which is why everyone likes them.”

A change of lifestyle leads to long-term solutions

Thakur has recently lost 25 pounds because he switched to eating simpler foods than the ones his culture tends to eat.

“If I wouldn’t have started cooking for myself I wouldn’t have dropped all that weight.

Reported by Kelci Nicodemus

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