Despite ever increasing knowledge and research on the risks of both processed, sugar-laden foods and a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes rates continue to rise. A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that though treatments for diabetes are improving, the incidences of diabetes onset are still continuing to climb. According to the study, forty percent of Americans will experience the onset of diabetes during their lives.
The high numbers revealed by the study surprised even the study’s researchers. Edward Gregg, the lead author of the study* published in the diabetes focused journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology says that while researchers anticipated a rise in incidences of diabetes, the high numbers were still “a humbling number.”
The study also shows people of black and Hispanic races are faced with even higher rates of diabetes. When the data was disaggregated by race it revealed that African Americans and Hispanics have a fifty percent risk level of developing diabetes over their lifetimes. More research is needed, but the initial thoughts on this increased risk focus on the problem being related more to socioeconomic factors than biological factors. Many of the risk factors for Type II Diabetes are more prevalent in lower socioeconomic classes where less healthy food is readily available and preventative medical care is harder to access.
Making healthier lifestyle choices and having regular screenings for all people over the age of 45 are recommended to fight against the development of diabetes. Doctors are able to use lab tests to identify people who are in a pre-diabetic state. If those people then take measures like reducing sugar intake, participating in regular exercise, increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and possibly taking certain natural supplements they can help prevent pre-diabetes from progressing to Type II Diabetes. Additionally, providing nutrition education to the populations especially at risk for diabetes has the power to help people make choices to avoid falling into the dramatic statistics about diabetes onset.