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17,000 Pegged To Take 60 Million Steps At Walk 2013 To Mark World Diabetes Day

Abu Dhabi, UAE – October, 3, 2013: More than 17,000 people are expected to pace five kilometres around Yas Marina Circuit at Walk 2013 on November 15 to mark World Diabetes Day. The annual walkathon is organised in Abu Dhabi by Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) with the support of Active Life from the National Health Insurance Company – Daman.

Walk 2013 is part of Walk for Life, a pillar of ICLDC’s long-running public health awareness campaign, ‘Diabetes-Knowledge-Action’, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.

The campaign has reached out to more than 177,000 people since its launch in 2007 with the aim of educating the community on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Suhail Mahmood Al Ansari, Chairman of Imperial College London Diabetes Centre and Executive Director of Mubadala Healthcare noted that this year marks the seventh annual Walk.

“Walk 2013 is an important initiative which sees the community come together to raise awareness for diabetes, and most importantly, encourage the adoption of a healthier lifestyle.”

He emphasised that the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) suggests that 18.9 per cent of the UAE population is living with diabetes, placing the Emirates at number 11 worldwide.

“It is our intention that through initiatives like Walk for Life, we help bring awareness to the small lifestyle changes that can help to manage diabetes, or prevent it altogether,” Al Ansari said.
Meanwhile, Daman’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Michael Bitzer said that the company’s Activelife programme will deploy numerous interactive activities as part of the family edutainment zone at Walk 2013.

“We are going all out again this year to enjoy the direct contact with the thousands who attend the Walk year-afteryear.

“Walk 2013 provides another wonderful opportunity to reinforce Activelife by Daman as we gear up to walk against diabetes type 2, at the same time enhance the brand’s message on the importance of adopting healthy habits to reduce the risk for developing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes type 2 and obesity.”

Indeed, in June of this year, in a further effort to encourage organisations and the greater community to mobilise informal walking groups, ‘Diabetes-Knowledge-Action’ and Active Life announced a grass roots initiative, Start Walking..

Almost one million steps have been taken by mini-walk events endorsing the Start Walking. message, and as many as 60 million steps will be taken at Walk 2013 next month.

“The combined efforts through ICLDC’s campaign are all focussed on promoting the smart simple steps to a healthy lifestyle - the combination of healthy diet, a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day and maintaining a normal body weight,” Al Ansari said.

According to the IDF more than 371 million people worldwide are living with diabetes, with almost 50 per cent of people unaware that they may have the condition.

Walk 2013 Registration is now open http://diabetesuae.ae/walk_2013_registration