Recent (and alarming!) statistics confirm that in 2011 one in 10 U.S. adults is diabetic. And as many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 according to analysis just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Key factors contributing to this expected rise in cases are: our aging population (diabetes risk increases with age), our increasing longevity, and our increasing obesity.
Diabetes is a devastating illness leading to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, pregnancy complications, and more. Estimates suggest that life expectancy from the time of diagnoses is 30 to 50 percent less than for non-diabetics. If you are diagnosed with adult-onset diabetes before age 40, life expectancy is decreased by up to 8 years. The CDC estimates the total cost of diabetes in this country is $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical costs!
Obesity greatly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular disease. Research shows that more than 85 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. About one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese, and the consumption of fast food is considered to be a major reason for obesity. A 2005 study of 44,072 women between 30 and 69 years of age who were not diabetic found that 2873 of them developed type 2 diabetes over a period of 10 years. The incidence of diabetes was greater among those who ate take-out food more than twice a week. Certain fast foods may be particularly risky for promoting diabetes. Women who consumed fast food burgers or fried chicken were 40% to 70% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than others who never ate such food. A similar study looked at the incidence of diabetes in young Japanese men who had emigrated from Japan to the US. The prevalence of diabetes was four 4 times greater than comparable Japanese men who remained in Japan. Looking at the eating habits of these groups showed that those who developed diabetes ate a diet much higher in animal fat than those who did not. Typical fast food fare (burgers, tacos, pizza, chicken, etc …) are high in the saturated fats produced from animal sources, as opposed to healthier vegetable sources.
Diet, exercise, and proper nutrition play an important role in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. How can you decrease the risk of developing diabetes?? You can start by skipping your next visit to the local fast food outlet!!
- "Fast-food Habits, Weight Gain, and Insulin Resistance (The CARDIA Study): 15-Year Prospective Analysis." Pereira M, Kartashov A, et al. The Lancet: January 1, 2005.
- "Diet of second generatioin Japanese-American men with and without non-insulin dependent diabetes." Tsunehara C, Leonetti D, Fujimoto W. Am J Clin Nutr: 1990 52:731-738.
By: the Physicians of Health Butler