“Buyers beware” is not a new message but does many care ? When come to purchasing health & wellness products, you better be safe than sorry.

Today’s “Today” newspapers reported that “According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than half the pills sold online are fakes”.

Offline in the streets, fake medicine are rampant too. It was reported that “In Indonesia, about a quarter of all medicine sales are fakes. In the Philippines, it is 30%; in India, 20%; in Cambodia, 13%; and in China, 8%”.

Internet is definitely a convenient and private way of shopping, but when faced with any issue such as fakes or those that are adulterated with dangerous or undeclared substances, who can the user go after? Definitely not WHO!

On my morning transit flight onboard the Air China from Beijing to Dailan on the 11th of November, flipping through the only available reading materials, Beijing Evening News, I stopped at the headline “千个北京娃 五个糖尿病”. Only interesting headline like this can stop me in this world of media clutter.

The disease control center of Beijing states that in every thousand of the female children population, five of them have diabetes. Majority of the “甜娃娃” or diabetic dolls (little girls are referred to as dolls in China) are also “胖娃娃” or obese dolls. The information released is to part of the global observation of the disease.  

Used to be observed as World Diabetes Day on 14 November yearly at a global level since 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation with co-sponsorship of the World Health Organization, the United Nations has since passed a resolution to observe it as United Nations Diabetes Day yearly starting from 14 November 2007.

Once only thought of as the disease of the aging population, diabetes is catching up with the younger population and in particular, the young children and teenagers. This is evident as the number of young people seeking treatment is increasing as according to the eye clinic of the University of Beijing. One doctor there reported that a 23 year old patient has become blind.

In Beijing, the number of diabetic children between the ages of 6 to 18 is 5.4% of the diabetic population. This rate is increasing at a staggering 10% yearly. The report stated that currently, for those 6 to 10 years old, 4.7% is diabetic, 10 to 15 years old 5.3% and 15 to 18 years old 6.1%.

The trend is so worrying that the local medical authority is publicing the UN anti-diabetes messages and has sent out a “远离糖尿病 健康新生活” (Keep distance from diabetes, have a healthy new living) proposal to all parents of students in all primary and secondary schools.

Contrary to my last posting OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE IS FAT – WHAT ELSE TO TALK ABOUT?“, I have just gotten the news that the World Health Organisation estimated currently that there are 1.6 billion overweight adults and at least 400 million obese adults worldwide. This is over 30% of the population on earth based on the CIA Factbook, which estimated that the world population stands at 6.6 billion.

It is also projected that in 8 years time, these numbers will increase by 44% and 75% respectively. That means that in 2015, there will about 2.3 billion overweight adults and 700 million obese adults.

It is also no longer the problem faced by the high-income countries. It is on the rise in middle-income and low-income countries as well, particularly in the urban areas. 

If these numbers speak about adults, what about the children ?