New Zealanders are being warned to stop turning a blind eye to diabetes, as the number of Kiwis suffering from the condition continues to rise.
It's our fastest growing health crisis, with diabetes rates more than doubling in the past decade; 257,000 New Zealanders now have diabetes, up from 125,000 a decade ago.
"It is time the country took steps to remedy the appalling increase in the condition," says Diabetes New Zealand's chief executive Steve Crew.
Even more worrying, says Mr Crew, is that a further 1.1 million people are estimated to be at high risk of developing the disease.
"Everyone is at risk of diabetes. One in four people is believed to have pre-diabetes. That's more than a million people, who in many cases, could prevent or delay the onset of type-2 diabetes with a healthy lifestyle of nutritional eating and regular exercise."
Diabetes New Zealand today launched a range of initiatives to try to stem the rising trend of new diagnoses - these include:
It follows the unveiling of the Government's five-year plan to tackle diabetes last month.
Mr Crew supports the plan but says it's a national health crisis, and we all need to stop viewing it as someone else's problem.