This Epidemic Will Strike 1/3 of Americans by 2050

Posted April 22nd, 2015 at 9:59 am (UTC-4)

Judith Garcia fills a syringe as she prepares to give herself an injection of insulin. (AP Photo)

Judith Garcia fills a syringe as she prepares to give herself an injection of insulin. (AP Photo)

Almost 30 million people in the United States have diabetes and if the current trends continue, one in three American adults will suffer from the condition by 2050, according to the American Diabetes Association.

A new chart shows that, between 2004 and 2012, the prevalence of diabetes increased in almost every U.S. county nationwide except for 15 localities where the rate either went down or stayed the same.

Diabetes is a genetically determined disease. Long-term complications can include heart disease, and nerve, kidney, eye and foot damage.

“The fact that we’re more sedentary and the fact that our calorie consumption has been increasing steadily over the last few decades, which is the more important factor of the two, are major triggers for the onset of type 2 diabetes,” said Matt Petersen of the American Diabetes Association. “You start with the genetics and then these other factors can trigger the onset of diabetes.”

Two-thirds of the American population is now considered to be overweight or obese.

Using statistics from the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the Data Dude created the interactive map below that highlights the changes in diabetes prevalence in each U.S. county.

The 10 counties that experienced a drop in diabetes are:

McCracken County, Kentucky
Arlington County, Virginia
Hawaii County, Hawaii
Beckham County, Oklahoma
San Francisco County, California
Roosevelt County, Montana
Cuming County, Nebraska
Mellette County, South Dakota
Preston County, West Virginia
Logan County, Nebraska

All in all, Colorado seems to be doing the best job when it comes to warding off diabetes. In many localities, 4 percent or less of the population has been diagnosed with the disease.

“It’s a leaner state than most and it has a lower rate of diabetes and the equation might be that simple,” Petersen said.

Petersen says there’s another key factor driving the increasing prevalence of diabetes.

“We believe the main reason it continues to go up is because we are taking better care of it and people are living longer. We’d very much like to then move to diabetes prevention,” he said. “Age, weight, physical activity, those are the risk factors that we know about. Age we can’t do much about so we focus on physical activity and weight control as the primary ways to both prevent and delay diabetes or if you have it, to manage it.”

2 responses to “This Epidemic Will Strike 1/3 of Americans by 2050”

  1. Chris says:

    Some speculate that the rise in diabetes is also correlated with over-prescribing antibiotics which have killed off intestinal bacterial fauna that help regulate digestion. It’s an unproven theory but also very interesting.

  2. on the money says:

    this is purely because you guys don’t eat any real food. Every time i go over there on vacation i struggle to find places to eat. It’s a disgrace. Was in Hawaii most recently and that place is a joke.
    You even put sugar and butter on pizza crust!
    your cornflakes are full of sugar!
    it’s disgusting and it’s because your population don’t care enough to challenge the government about it. We have the same brands in Australia yet our products (kraft peanut butter for example) have hardly to no sugar at all. WHY IS THAT?
    It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out.

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