NEW SCIENTIST: What’s Behind Surprise Diabetes Decline In America?

By  //  January 21, 2017

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prevention is possible through healthier eating and reducing sedentary behavior

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Diabetes is one of the biggest global health threats the world faces. It is estimated there are now 415 million adults with the condition and by 2040 there will be 642 million. Most will have type 2 diabetes, the form linked to obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In America, the land of fast-food and sedentary life styles, new cases of diabetes are surprisingly diminishing.  It’s an optimistic sign in a public health epidemic that erupted over 25 years ago.

The author of this article from New Scientist, Paul Zimmet, suggests that the most hopeful explanation for this downward trend is that public health messages aimed at tackling obesity and diabetes and which address food policy and promote healthier environments are beginning to hit home. 

— Dr. Jim Palermo, Editor-in-Chief

NEW SCIENTIST — Diabetes is one of the biggest global health threats the world faces. It is estimated there are now 415 million adults with the condition and by 2040 there will be 642 million. Most will have type 2 diabetes, the form linked to obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

But alongside these gloomy figures comes encouraging news. There has been a decline in new cases of diabetes in U.S. adults at a time when most despaired of a relentless upward trend.

obesity and diabetes

A downward trend in new cases of diabetes in America is likely due, at least in part, to public health messages aimed at tackling obesity and which address food policy and promote healthier environments.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, new cases are on a downward slope.

They fell from 1.7 million in 2008 to 1.4 million in 2014 – the first consistent drop since 1990.

Declines in the prevalence and incidence of this condition are rare.

Cuba bucked the trend during an economic crisis between 1991 and 1995, but that was a time of food rationing that saw reductions in obesity.

As the economy picked up, weight regain was associated with a reversal of the effect.

So, what is behind the U.S. trend? There are possibilities that could, alone or together, explain it.

CLICK HERE to read the answer to that question and more in the complete article on NewScientist.com

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