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HEALTH: Dr. Shree Mulay - Associate Dean and Professor, Community Health and Humanities with the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University


In her research of rates of obesity and diabetes in Newfoundland & Labrador, Dr. Shree Mulay came across an interesting account of a survey conducted 50 years ago aboard the medical vessel MV Christmas Seal.

They had collected urine samples of people living in small coastal towns of the province, testing for tuberculosis and measuring glucose, and out of the sample size of 5,100 people, 150 people had diabetes—about three per cent.

Compared with the eight per cent it is today, that indicates a significant change.

 “While we have only an approximation for that time,” she says, “we do know that at present, rates of obesity, diabetes, smoking, and alcohol consumption in this province are substantially higher than the Canadian average. Inactivity rates and consumption of fruits and vegetables are substantially lower than other provinces.”

So what has changed in those 50 years?

“Many things have changed,” says Mulay, “but most of all the way of life [in the province] has changed dramatically.”

Number of General & Family Practitioners PDF

Obesity Rates PDF

Proportion of population not eating recommended fruits & vegetables PDF

Population with perceived life stress as "Quite a Lot" PDF

Smoker Rates PDF

Diabetes Rates PDF

Population physically active during leisure time PDF

Life Expectancy PDF

 

They had collected urine samples of people living in small coastal towns of the province, testing for tuberculosis and measuring glucose, and out of the sample size of 5,100 people, 150 people had diabetes—about three per cent.

Compared with the eight per cent it is today, that indicates a significant change.

 “While we have only an approximation for that time,” she says, “we do know that at present, rates of obesity, diabetes, smoking, and alcohol consumption in this province are substantially higher than the Canadian average. Inactivity rates and consumption of fruits and vegetables are substantially lower than other provinces.”

So what has changed in those 50 years?

“Many things have changed,” says Mulay, “but most of all the way of life [in the province] has changed dramatically.”

Number of General & Family Practitioners PDF

Obesity Rates PDF

Proportion of population not eating recommended fruits & vegetables PDF

Population with perceived life stress as "Quite a Lot" PDF

Smoker Rates PDF

Diabetes Rates PDF

Population physically active during leisure time PDF

Life Expectancy PDF

 

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