Since 1988 the number of Americans suffering from diabetes has more than doubled. Over 22 million U.S. adults have confirmed diabetes; and the number of child diabetics is growing too.
In a report published in the April 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the percentage of American adults with diagnosed diabetes has jumped from 5.5% to 9.3% just in the last twenty years.
Understanding Can Help Protect You
Diabetes is now the number seven killer in the U.S. and contributes to many other diseases. This lethal blood-sugar disease was listed as the underlying cause of death for close to 70,000 Americans. Plus, diabetes was also a contributing factor in over 234,000 other deaths.
Unfortunately, most of these deaths could have been prevented.
The grim health complications of diabetes, such as heart, kidney and nerve damage, can be both prevented and reversed by making a few simple lifestyle changes. All it actually takes is eating a healthier diet, getting more exercise and losing some of those extra pounds.
The researchers, however, did find encouraging news in their report.
With the increased understanding of the causes of diabetes and improved screening techniques, fewer people are going undiagnosed and untreated.
The researchers also found that overall blood sugar control was greatly improved in some sectors of the population, although this was not so among blacks or Mexican-Americans.
Three Simple Ways to Protect Yourself
Dr. Elizabeth Selvin, the leading researcher and associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, said “This study also highlights that the increase in diabetes really tracks closely with the epidemic of obesity. The diabetes epidemic is really a direct consequence of the rise in obesity.”
Obesity, by the way, can also be prevented and controlled when you
- eat a healthier diet,
- become more physically active,
- and effectively start managing your weight.
As far as diet is concerned, consider starting on a Mediterranean style diet, which is high in fish, fruit, vegetables and nuts. A recent pre-publication study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Washington, DC, found that the Mediterranean diet when compared to other eating programs was linked to a 21% reduced risk of diabetes.
And here’s more good Mediterranean news. Among the people at high risk for heart disease, a Mediterranean style diet was even more effective – offering a 27% reduced risk of diabetes.
So start today eating healthier, getting 30 minutes or more of daily exercise and lose at least 5% to 7% of body weight. Remember, diabetes kills – just make sure you’re not a fatal statistic!
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.