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As a consequence of changed dietary patterns from that of their native land/culture, they too have become more prone to contracting diabetes (Abou-Daoud, 1969). The participants are mainly the elderly who have either recently or for a lifetime been diagnosed with diabetes. Here, one evaluates their socio-economic backgrounds, eating and drinking habits, exercise regimes, predominant diabetic symptoms manifested and medical complications in an effort to understand this disease in this cross section of the population. Also through this assessment, one discovers the detrimental effects on diabetes not only on the biological functions, but also in the social realm: family, work and leisure. (Zalloua, 2003) reiterates the economic, cultural, and social impacts of diabetes on the person, family, relations, and the community. These findings are based on self-reported questionnaires. As the results surfaced, significant associations and trends in their social, health and dietary patterns are discerned. The morbidity of diabetes is reinforced as the gerontological complaints compound the ailments related to it. It is hoped that this case study would shed light into the general practices of this at-risk diabetic population and therefore, aid in designing tailor-made interventions and solutions to remedy some of the ills befalling this group. CHAPTER ONE Findings on Diet and Lifestyle 1.1 Socio-demographic Background of Participants A total of 200 diabetic participants from the Australian Lebanese community are approached to take the lifestyle survey and questionnaire regarding diabetes. Male participants number 157 (n=157) or 78.5% of respondents. Respondents’ age bracket ranges from 41-55 years. 44% are over the age of 50 with the mean age standing at 48.5 years. 92.5% of participants are married and 45% are employed. Of those surveyed, 86.5% are Lebanese-born and 40% have spent 30 years and over in the country of origin. More than a third (35.5%) have no formal education, almost 20% have a high-school leaving diploma (18.5%), an eighth engage in a trade (12.5%) and 6.5% have a university degree. In terms of income, more than half (52%) earn between $20,001 and $40,000 annually with about a quarter (22.5%) of respondents bringing in less than $20,000. The mean income for the sample group is $31,875. 1.2 Component of Collaboration 1.2.1 Introduction This component stresses on the diabetic’s knowledge base, pinpoints the severity of diabetes, factors in other complications that add to the morbidity of the disease and articulates the conditions associated with diabete
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