Public and private sector collaborate to fight urban diabetes (Dr. Scott Lear)

Diabetes is one of the most significant chronic diseases facing modern society, and despite progress being made in treating it, projections for diabetes in urban areas in particular is on the rise.

Approximately 3.5 million Canadians have the disease — a number that’s expected to climb to 5 million by 2025. In Vancouver alone, it’s estimated that the prevalence of diabetes among adults could increase from 9.4% to 11.7% by 2020. But that projection could change, and for the better. In November 2016, the city joined the Cities Changing Diabetes (CCD) global initiative, a global partnership program initiated by Novo Nordisk to bring urgent action against diabetes. (There are now 15 cities participating—and growing.)

Cities play an integral role in combatting the rise in chronic diseases, says Dr. Scott Lear professor of Health Sciences at SFU. “Where we live plays a big role in our well-being and every day you’re touched by something the city oversees, whether it’s garbage collection, transit, roads, the sidewalks we walk on, or the public library. The city can be either a barrier or a facilitator to good health.”

Denise Deveau reports

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