South Asian Health Institute in Surrey aims to prevent diseases such as diabetes

Published: February 15, 2013

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Surrey Memorial Hospital

Will a new South Asian Health Institute help prevent more trips to the hospital? That’s the plan. Ric Ernst/PNG

Sugar in countless cups of tea and sweets, and savoury meals that are often swimming in butter have led to high chronic disease rates among South Asians, now the target of a new prevention program in British Columbia.

The South Asian Health Institute has been established with the hope that lifestyle changes can slash conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which is up to three times higher than in the general population.

Dr. Arun Garg, the institute’s medical director, said Friday that the focus will be on preventing diseases rather than fixing them through late intervention, which can come at a high cost to individuals, families and the health-care system.

The Fraser Health Authority launched the program in Surrey, B.C., home to the third-largest South Asian population in Canada.

Dr. Nigel Murray, the authority’s president, said the goal is to provide culturally appropriate early intervention and management of chronic conditions, which are caused by both environmental and hereditary factors.

RELATED STORIES: 

The institute will build on current programs at the health authority and foster new collaborations to improve the health of South Asians, Garg said.

“We’re really hoping that by having this kind of awareness we will also attract academic collaboration with centres like Simon Fraser University and the (University of B.C.) and that will give us more of a scientific basis for this.”

Garg said it’s challenging for people to make lifestyle changes, especially when it comes to their long-established diet, but he hopes that education and awareness in different sectors of the South Asian population will make a collective difference.

“People are quite attached to what they eat but I think it’s very worthwhile to make the effort,” he said.

By the fall, the health authority hopes to start an education program at a high school in Surrey to teach students about healthy diet and other lifestyle choices, Garg said.

“Where I think the biggest impact will be is when we reach out to pregnant women.”

Garg envisions a program that will allow family doctors to send their diabetes patients to an outpatient clinic where they can get ongoing support with diet issues, for example.

“They’re still connected with the physician they’re seeing and (the clinic) is integrated with the care that this physician is providing.”

“What we want to do is support general practitioners and individual physicians who are already involved with people,” he said. “But what’s better is to start at an earlier stage with prevention.”

Garg said the Fraser Health Authority, which includes 12 hospitals, has a population of about 180,000 South Asians, most of them in the Surrey and Abbotsford areas.

A 2011 study by McMaster University in Hamilton suggested that for South Asians, fat cells collect in internal organs such as the liver.

It included 108 healthy South Asians and Caucasians with an average age in the mid-30s and similar body mass index.

The results provided backing for the message that Canadians whose families originated in the Indian subcontinent should try to burn off excess calories.

Tags: , , , ,




Featured

rape-India

How Indian website Mintified’s ‘all men are not rapists’ campaign backfired

HINDUSTAN TIMES An Indian website’s social media campaign that “all men are not rapists” has come in for intense criticism over its “dangerous message”. Mintified started a…
Continue Reading »

Abbotsford

End Gang Life: Dial-a-doper is truly risky business

SGT. LINDSEY HOUGHTON SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. released brand new videos in the End Gang Life campaign. …
Continue Reading »

PICS Gala

PICS Society raises $100,000 for multicultural long term care home project

VANCOUVER DESI SURREY BC — The Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society raised over $100,000 at a gala event for their multicultural long term care home project,…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Abbotsford

End Gang Life: Dial-a-doper is truly risky business

SGT. LINDSEY HOUGHTON SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. released brand new videos in the End Gang Life campaign. …
Continue Reading »

Scotiabank to review CONCACAF sponsorship following corruption charges

THE CANADIAN PRESS CALGARY — One of Canada’s largest banks says it will review its involvement in sponsoring CONCACAF in the wake of corruption allegations…
Continue Reading »

PICS Gala

PICS Society raises $100,000 for multicultural long term care home project

VANCOUVER DESI SURREY BC — The Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society raised over $100,000 at a gala event for their multicultural long term care home project,…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

sexy legs and breasts

Men prefer brains over big breasts and long legs: Study

IANS London – What do men prefer, beauty or brains? According to a British evolutionary biologist, men prefer intelligence over big breasts and long legs…
Continue Reading »

Aga Khan

PM Harper, Aga Khan discuss threat posed by violent extremists

VANCOUVER DESI Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his condolences to the Aga Khan Tuesday for the recent terrorist attack on the Ismaili community in Pakistan. The spiritual…
Continue Reading »

transgender principal

India gets its first transgender college principal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS KOLKATA, India — India has for the first time appointed a transgender as the principal of a college, a top education official…
Continue Reading »

Sikh Samaritan

Sikh Samaritan breaks religious protocol, removes turban to help injured child (with video)

IANS Wellington – A young Sikh Samaritan did not hesitate to break religious protocol by removing his turban to help an injured child bleeding profusely…
Continue Reading »

NRI-DESI-DEPORTATION

‘Stateless’ man argues deportation to India before Court of Appeal

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Deepan Budlakoti, born and raised in Canada, has no citizenship anywhere. But that doesn’t make him “stateless,” a lawyer for Citizenship…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood sex

Bollywood actress Lara Dutta is the surprise package in ‘Singh Is Bliing’

IANS Mumbai – Actor-filmmaker Prabhudheva, who is directing “Singh Is Bliing”, says Lara Dutta will be a surprise package in the film. “I was impressed…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood-Hollywood

Bollywood diva Priyanka Chopra hopes “after Quantico, Indian actors are taken seriously”

IANS Mumbai – She remembers being bullied as a “brownie” in her teenage years in the US. But now Priyanka Chopra, who has landed a…
Continue Reading »

sonakshi sinha

Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha to sing at India’s Oscars

IANS New Delhi – “Dabangg” actress Sonakshi Sinha, who will soon be seen as a judge in “Indian Idol Junior”, will entertain the audience in…
Continue Reading »