Saturday November 1, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report Thursday saying that
the rate of new cases of diagnosed diabetes in the United States has nearly
doubled in the past ten years.
The data published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality
Weekly Report show that in the past decade, incidence (new cases) of diagnosed
diabetes has increase from 0.48 percent during 1995-1997 to 0.91 percent in 2005-2007
in 33 states surveyed.
"This dramatic increase in the number of people with
diabetes highlights the increasing burden of diabetes across the country,"
says lead author Karen Kirtland, Ph.D., a data analyst with CDC's Division of
"This study demonstrates that we must continue to
promote effective diabetes prevention efforts that include lifestyle
interventions for people at risk for diabetes. Changes such as weight loss
combined with moderate physical activity are important steps that individuals
can take to reduce their risk for developing diabetes."
The data came from CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor
Surveillance System, which provides incidence rates of diabetes for 43 states
and two U.S. territories, but only 33 states had data for both time periods.
The incidence of newly diagnosed diabetes varied from state
to state. West Virginia was hit hardest where 1.27 percent of residents were
newly diagnosed with the condition while Minnesota is the healthiest state where
0.50 percent was newly diagnosed with the disease.
Puerto Rico had 1.28 percent newly diagnosed during the
2005-2007 period. The worst states in addition to West Virginia included
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and
"This report documents the geographic distribution
of new cases of diabetes and is consistent with previous studies showing an
increase in new diabetes cases," said Kirtland.
"We must step up efforts to prevent and control
diabetes, particularly in the Southern U.S. region where we see higher rates of
diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity."
Diabetes that affects about 30 million of Americans may
be caused by a variety of risk factors including older age, lower educational
attainment, low physical activity, obesity, weight gain, according to the
Editorialists for the report say that obesity has been
identified as a major risk factor in the increasing incidence of diabetes. Like
the increased incidence of diabetes, obesity has also been on the rise.
It has been found early already that the rate of diabetes
in the South was the highest. In the South, the prevalence of obesity and physical
inactivity were also highest (27.3 %) with the highest prevalence (30%) found
in three southern states: Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, the
editorialists said citing another CDC report.
The CDC report says that efforts to prevent diabetes
should focus on people with high risk for type 2 diabetes, which account for 90
to 95 percent of all diabetes cases in the U.S.
The authors of the report say "a 5%--10% reduction in body weight
coupled with 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 5 days a week resulted in
a 58% reduction in diabetes over a 3-year period."
A health observer cautioned that obesity may be just a
scapegoat for the increased prevalence of diagnosed diabetes.
Although obesity by itself may have a direct
impact on the condition, what behind the obesity epidemic - diet and physical activity-
may be more important.
Arsenic in drinking water, persistent organic pollutants
(most pesticides), drinking fruit juice, diet soda, soft drinks sweetened with
high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), exposure to bisphenol A, PCBs, overeating,
eating fatty foods, red meat and high sugar diet are some of risk factors that
have been associated with increased risk of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes - a condition in which cells do not use
insulin properly to convert sugar to energy leading to buildup of sugar in the
blood can cause complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure
and poor circulation in the feet.
Foods that help prevent diabetes or may help treat the
condition include turmeric, vitamin K1, vitamin D, chamomile tea, Mediterranean
diet, green leafy vegetables, legumes, soy food, red wine compound resveratrol,
and tart cherries among others.
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