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China Marks UN World Diabetes Day, Stressing Healthy Living

Beijing on Friday launched a month-long campaign to raise public awareness of diabetes, encouraging healthy lifestyles from a young age as a preventive measure.

The move was taken to mark the second United Nations World Diabetes Day, which falls on Friday, with the theme this year of "Diabetes in Children and Adolescents."

The Beijing Municipal Health Bureau on Friday organized a group of medical workers at the Olympic Green to give free advice to the public on prevention and treatment of diabetes.

The bureau plans to provide free medical consultations in medical centers, and educate the public through TV and radio, newspapers, websites and brochures.

"About 80 percent of diabetes cases can be avoided as long as people adhere to sound lifestyles," said Health Minister Chen Zhu.

"The preventative measures should be taken among children and adolescents," said Chen. Bad habits, like inactivity, poor diet and obesity, started young and increased the risk of getting diabetes.

China has an estimated 40 million diabetics, according to a survey conducted by the Chinese Medical Association in 2007. Most of these cases were found in cities and affluent rural areas.

(Xinhua News Agency November 15, 2008)

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