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Globally, the number of persons with diabetes and at risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease is reaching epidemic proportions. Over the next decade the number is expected to grow by 25%, largely driven by the rising prevalence of obesity and inactivity. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 200 million persons worldwide will have diabetes by 2010, and that number will reach 330 million by 2025. The problem is especially serious in Asia where there are 90 million people with diabetes. This includes four of the world's five largest populations with diabetes: India, 33 million people with diabetes; China, 23 million; Pakistan, 9 million, and Japan, 7 million. The WHO predicts that in less than a decade, 60% of the worldwide population with diabetes will be in Asia.

It is with these facts in mind that Nestlé Nutrition chose the topic 'Nutritional Management of Diabetes Mellitus and the Dysmetabolic Syndrome' for the 11th Nestlé Nutrition Clinical and Performance Program Workshop Series, and the site, Hangzhou, China. Unless action is taken to change the predicted path of diabetes, the disease will become a huge economic burden - both from direct healthcare costs and indirect costs due to a decline in workplace productivity, as well as losses due to premature morbidity and mortality. Therefore, individuals at risk of diabetes must be identified, and prevention and suitable treatment interventions implemented.

With Nestlé Nutrition's interest in nutrition, and the superb expertise of our chairmen, Prof. John Bantle and Prof. Gerard Slama, a program was developed highlighting the scientific evidence examining the impact of lifestyle, which includes both nutritional management and physical activity, in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Although the optimal diet for diabetes has not yet been defined, because the optimal study has not yet been done, there is general agreement that the nutritional recommendations of the various international diabetes organizations are reasonable. There was also general agreement that nutrition and lifestyle management must be individualized for each person to enhance the potential for a successful outcome.

We thank our superb chairmen, our expert speakers, and especially our hosts from Nestlé China, specifically KeLan Liu and Kelly Gao and their team, for their wonderful organization and attention to so many logistical details. It is due to their efforts that participants from around the globe were able to participate in a stimulating workshop and some wonderful Chinese culture.

Patricia S. Anthony, MS, RD

Manager, Clinical Services HealthCare Nutrition Nestec Ltd., Vevey, Switzerland

11th Nestlé Nutrition Workshop

Clinical & Performance Program

Hangzhou, China, October 30-November 3, 2005

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