Mike Puru: Diabetes prevention takes a few simple steps

By Stefan Dimitrof

A bunch of well-known Kiwis are getting behind a Diabetes New Zealand campaign, to raise awareness of how increased exercise, weight loss and diet changes can help prevent Type-2 diabetes.

Almost 280,000 Kiwis have diabetes, and a further 100,000 are estimated to have diabetes, or be at risk and don't know it.

The Fitbit movement challenge starts today, and participants include politicians cabinet minister Peeni Henare and ACT leader David Seymour, plus radio personality Mike Puru.

Puru initially wanted to be a part of the programme because he wanted to get his family involved and “into some exercise as they weren’t very healthy when it came to movement and I saw an opportunity to jump on board”.

“It allowed me to challenge them in a simple way.”

Puru said the more that he learned about diabetes, the more he understood how much of a problem it was in Aotearoa. “I continue to jump on to support it as it really important and it's beneficial for me too.”

'Keep moving'

The Fitbit movement challenge isn’t an initiative to push people to the physical limit daily but to monitor and encourage them to keep moving and keep hitting the step goals for the day. “You are not only trying to meet your goal but you're trying to better it.”

Puru says he’s had to try to help his father through the stigma that can be associated with "trying to better yourself".

“Oh yes, look, he’s just trying to be better than everyone else’ when you're trying to do something that improves your own health but, as we’ve learned over Covid-19, we are all in this together.

“You don’t have to wear a badge. You don’t have to make a song and dance about it but the conversation helps. The conversation gets someone a) to see a doctor or b) start something in their lives.

“The prevention, with just some simple basic steps, is going to help everyone in the long run.”