Health with attitude
SHORTLAND Street star Cameron Jones feared diabetes would hold him back from living a fuller life.
‘‘But I’ve learnt with careful management, and by leading a healthy lifestyle, diabetes does not have to control your life,’’ the Ponsonby actor says.
Jones portrays ambulance officer Dallas Adams on the popular television soap every weeknight and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 16.
He says he takes part in adrenalin sports such as surfing in order to stay healthy.
‘‘Ever since [my diagnosis] I’ve lived with the condition the best way I know how – to the fullest.
‘‘If I can make others aware that all types of people from all walks of life go through this – and that life can still be whatever you want it to be – then I will feel like I am doing a little bit to change the perception of the condition,’’ he says.
Jones has joined Diabetes New Zealand this year to raise awareness about the health issue affecting nearly 250,000 Kiwis.
Diabetes New Zealand says at least 50 more people are diagnosed with the illness every day.
‘‘Anyone can get diabetes and if it’s not properly managed, the consequences can be extremely serious,’’ president Chris Baty says.
But careful management, including taking prescribed medication, eating well and exercising can help those with diabetes live a healthy life, she says.
Type 1 diabetes like Jones’ is not preventable but the more common type 2 can be delayed or even avoided through a healthy diet and being active, Baty says.
Diabetes Awareness Week finishes on Monday and today is World Diabetes Day.
A ‘‘blue breakfast’’ was held on Auckland’s waterfront this morning.
Free blue smoothies and cereal packets were handed out.
Diabetes New Zealand volunteers will be carrying out bucket collections across the region tomorrow.
Living healthy: actor Cameron Jones, of Ponsonby, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 16.