The number of people with diabetes mellitus (DM) in the developing countries is increasing at an alarming rate and Bangladesh is no exception. Current prevalence of the disease in the adult population in the country is estimated to be 5.2% with a total number estimated as 3 million. DM poses considerable medical as well as socioeconomic burden all over the world and this is specially true for resource constrained countries like Bangladesh. Accordingly, early management and more particularly, prevention should be the cornerstone for diabetes-health care movement in such countries.
'Nutrition' plays a central role in the prevention and management of DM and other disorder associated with metabolic syndrome. The health care providers in developing countries, however, do not seriously acknowledge this fact in most cases and this leads to the unfortunate consequence of looking "health" as a purely “medical” issue. Blames are easily given to the policy makers and health care agencies, but the professionals and scientists cannot avoid their failure. Although limited in scope, efforts have often been taken in Bangladesh in improving nutrition of population within the major goal of health care reform, but most of these programs utterly failed in attaining their objectives.
One of the major reasons for such failure is that such programs were divorced with the chemical-biological, socioeconomic and cultural realities of the population that they addressed. Without primary data generated on the food items consumed, on the biological effects they produce on the specific population and on the knowledge, attitude and practices of the community concerned, any attempt for a nutritional reform program is bound to fail in producing optimum result.
Realizing the above facts, the Bio-Medical Research Group (BMRG) of BIRDEM (The central Institute of the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh) started, back in 1997, a comprehensive program on nutritional evaluation of local food materials with particular focus on chemical analysis and on glycemic index (GI) which has direct implication for prevention and management of DM and metabolic syndrome in general. The program also contained projects in studying issues related to Body Mass Index & Knowledge-Attitude-Practice in various groups of diabetic subjects.
But all indoor research works go in vein only if they are not practiced in Real Life.
BMRG is trying to involve mass people with the outcome of this project and implement all the research results among them as well sharing and improving more.