When you take into account the fact that the number of diabetics around the world has doubled over the last 30 years to just over 350 million people, what has changed with regards to our lifestyle and why are so many people now in danger of developing diabetes?
Each and every day seems to bring another research report into diabetes which often concludes that a variety of lifestyle changes have encouraged the development of diabetes amongst many people. We have everything from speculation that drinking too much coffee increases the chances of developing diabetes to the fact that reduced exercise is also a major problem. So what exactly has changed over the last 30 years to more than double the number of people suffering from this potentially debilitating condition?
Is there a link between economic prosperity and diabetes?
In years gone by there was a general assumption that diabetes was a condition which was more common in those with lower incomes than those at the higher end of the salary scale. There was also an assumption that the quality of your diet had a direct impact upon your chances of developing diabetes, but this does not always appear to be the case.
Diabetes is a major problem within Europe and also North America, areas of the world where economic prosperity has been around for some time. It is also worth noting that diabetes is now a major problem in South America where the economies of countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, etc have performed admirably in recent times. So, is there a link between economic prosperity and diabetes?
One thing which is becoming more and more obvious is the fact that there is less and less time for leisure activities amongst the worldwide workforce as employment takes an ever tighter grip on your everyday life. This has forced many people to eat on the move, ignore their exercise regime and have very little in the way of rest time which is vital to replenish the body.
You only have to look at the fact that two thirds of the adult population in the USA have been impacted by obesity, diabetic numbers have trebled over the last 30 years in the USA and diabetes is a major problem from a cost perspective for the US administration. The same can be said of Mexico where we have seen a massive change in the overall health of the adult population with obesity a relatively small problem only a decade ago now impacting well over 50% of the Mexican adult population.
There is a growing concern that cheaper, fast foods have exacerbated the problem of diabetes which has in many ways prompted an explosion in type II diabetes, commonly referred to as a “lifestyle condition”. The fact is that, in the eyes of many experts, type II diabetes is ultimately avoidable for the vast majority of people whereas type I diabetes is perhaps more genetically linked thereby reducing the impact of dietary changes and an improved exercise regime.