ギョウセイ ノ タチバ カラ
Policy for the prevention of diabetes in Tokushima Prefecture
Iizumi, Kamon Tokushima Prefecture
The mortality rate for diabetes in Tokushima Prefecture has been the highest in the nation for thirteen years consecutively. To combat this, the prefectural government held an urgent campaign to promote awareness of diabetes last November and warn residents about the risk of this disease. Turning this crisis into an opportunity for change, the people of Tokushima have worked activity toward the prevention of diabetes, tackling the issue as a community.
January 2006 saw the launch of the Tokushima Citizen Council for Health and the creation of additional tools to support efforts to improve public health : the Awa Odori
Exercise program and the Healthy Awa Recipes series. During the present fiscal year, which began in April 2006, the prefectural government has been working with relevant organizations to organize special events to boost diabetes awareness, to advance preventive measures for lifestylerelated diseases, to launch a special“80-20”dental health program aimed at helping people keep 20 of their own teeth until age 80, and to promote healthy menus, among other activities.
Walking and riding bicycles are great way to overcome a lack of exercise and fight type 2 diabetes. By avoiding automobile use when possible, residents can also help make Tokushima an eco-friendly city. As the Awa Odori Exercise program gains nationwide recognition, it will spread the word across Japan about the health benefits of this form of dance. The Healthy Awa Recipes, meanwhile, are closely tied to nutrition-education efforts and the movement to grow and consume food products locally.
In these way the prefecture’s diabetes prevention measures are an effective way to kill three birds with one stone : not only do they help reduce incidence of the disease, they also boost national awareness of Tokushima and increase self-sufficiency in the prefectural economy.
Through these programs, we hope to make Tokushima a prefecture that no longer sits in the unhappy position of having the nation’s highest diabetes mortality.
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