Diabetes Threat Rising on Unhealthy Diets

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If you are what you eat – you may be a diabetic. That is the result of new research from Tufts University that found poor diet is feeding the global rise in Type 2 diabetes (T2D).

The findings were published in Nature Medicine.

The study analyzed data from the Global Dietary Database between 1990 and 2018. It found that 70 percent of new Type 2 diabetes diagnoses were connected to poor diet.

The Usual Suspects

Several dietary factors contribute to the increase in T2D, according to the study. They may be familiar to you:

  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Processed meats
  • Low consumption of whole grains and yogurt
  • Low consumption of nuts, seeds and fruits

Some of those foods can raise blood glucose levels, increase insulin resistance, and inflame body pathways that facilitate the processing of food.

In addition, the foods identified in the report can increase body weight.  Furthermore, obesity is a major factor in the development of T2D.

Global Problem

About one in 10 adults worldwide have diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). That is about 537 million people.

The United States mirrors international statistics. Again, 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, reports the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Accordingly, that is about 37.3 million people.

Additionally, the CDC estimates that 1 in five Americans are not aware they have diabetes.  Consequently, another 96 million adults, or about one in three, in the U. S. have prediabetes. Of that number, eight in 10 do not know their status. 

Consequences of Diabetes

“Diabetes creates extraordinary burdens on individuals, families, nations and healthcare systems,” according to the report.

Globally, one in eight deaths are attributable to diabetes, the report notes. In addition, the disease can lead to cardiovascular disease, renal failure, fatty liver disease, blindness, various cancers, and infectious diseases.

In addition, there is an economic toll to pay. Diabetes and those related health problems total an estimated $327 billion in medical cost, and lost wages and productivity, according to the CDC. Moreover, diabetics pay more than double what non-diabetics pay in medical expenses.

Diabetic Treatment Market

The additional cost for diabetic treatments have created a growth market.

In the next five years, the diabetic treatment market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 5.2 percent Market Data Forecast (MDF) reports. Today, the segment is valued at $92.97 billion. By 2028, MDF expects it to reach $118.7 billion.


Along with medical treatments, you can take an active role in dealing with the disease. That may include, changing eating habits, exercising, monitoring the condition, and reducing the risk of other complications.

As a result, your doctor may refer you to a diabetic care and education specialist. However, if you need to find one on your own, you can go to the Association of Diabetic Care and Education Specialists website.

You can also find a care and educational specialists through the American Diabetes Association which provides additional information and tools for dealing with the disease.

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