From Green Right Now Reports
Today is World Diabetes Day, and sadly, there is a world of it out there, especially if you consider the rising numbers of people suffering from this chronic health condition.
In the U.S. about 1 in 10 people have diabetes, and that’s expected to be the ratio worldwide by 2035.
“Diabetes is a disease of development. The misconception that diabetes is ‘a disease of the wealthy’ is still held, to the detriment of desperately needed funding to combat the pandemic,” said Sir Michael Hirst, president of the International Diabetes Foundation, speaking at an IDF leadership forum in Istanbul, Turkey.
Experts agree that diabetes is fostered by negative health habits, like the reliance on sugary drinks and inactivity that lead to obesity, putting people at higher risk of diabetes. As the Western diet and lifestyles are exported around the world (along with soda and other high sugar foods), diabetes is expected to mushroom.
“On World Diabetes Day, we must continue to increase awareness of the importance of a healthy diet and physical activity. Crucially, environments must be created that lay the foundations for healthy living.”
An estimated 382 million people are living with diabetes today, and if growth occurs as predicted, that number will jump to 592 million in 2035, the IDF reported.
The IDF puts out the Diabetes Atlas, which shows that the worst afflicted area in the world is in the West Pacific. This takes in China, Japan and Korea, but on a per capita basis, the nations with the worst problems are Pacific Island nations, like Micronesia. In some island nations, diabetes afflicts nearly one-third of the population.
Developed nations like the U.S., the European Union and Southeast Asia also have huge populations with diabetes, diagnosed and undiagnosed. In North America, the people with the worst diabetes per capita also are island or coastal nations, with Belize, Guyana, Curacao, Martinique and the Cayman Islands having about 15 percent of the population with diabetes.
In Europe, however, several nations, like Finland and France, as well as Belarus and the Ukraine, seem to be bucking the trend, with 6 percent or less of the population having diabetes.
Where else is diabetes not on the march. Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines have a low per capita incidence near or less than 5 percent.
Other findings released today by the IDF:
- $548 billion was spent on diabetes in 2013 in the US.
- North America spends the most healthcare dollars on diabetes.
- In South East Asia almost half of all people with diabetes are undiagnosed.
- The Western Pacific has the largest number of people with diabetes in the world.
- In Africa, three quarters of diabetes deaths are in people under 60 years old.
- In the Middle East and North Africa, one in ten people have diabetes.
- In South and Central America, there will be a 60% increase in the number of people with diabetes within a generation.