Diabetes does not only affect the U.S., but all people of different races, ethnicities and in various countries. The prevalence of diabetes does show some prejudice, where more U.S. citizens over the age of 65 have diabetes compared to those under 20 years old. Also, compared to Caucasians, diabetes effects African-Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans disproportionately.
- 346 million people worldwide have diabetes.
- In 2004, an estimated 3.4 million people died from the consequences of high blood sugar.
- More than 80 percent of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
- WHO projects that diabetes deaths will double between 2005 and 2030.
- Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Risk Factors
Uncontrollable Risk Factors:
- Family history and genetics
These are the uncontrollable risk factors that impact the potential of becoming diabetic. Even though you can not control these, there are a few things you can control.
Controllable Risk Factors:
- Lifestyle — diet and nutrition
These are the things that you do have the power to change and control. By altering your meal plan and exercising, you can control your weight. By making lifestyle changes, you control healthy habits and can then prevent diabetes.
I always ask my patients, ‘Why would you not want to take control and give yourself the power to prevent not only diabetes but many chronic conditions, like high blood pressure and heart disease?’ More than 60 percent of chronic conditions can be avoided by living a healthier lifestyle and making healthy behavioral changes.
It is proven that you can prevent diabetes by simply losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight and by also increasing physical activity to 150 minutes of moderate activity (like walking) per week. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, if you lose 9-18 pounds and walk for 30 minutes, five days per week, you can keep yourself healthier and happier.
Trust me. Make the small changes for your health. You are worth it.
How are you working to prevent diabetes?