Diabetes is soaring out-of-control worldwide. Since 1980, the number of adults in the world with diabetes has grown from 108 million to 422 million in 2014.

Diabetes soars worldwide

Woman Diabetes Glucose Check

Diabetes is soaring out-of-control worldwide. Since 1980, the number of adults in the world with diabetes has grown from 108 million to 422 million in 2014. Gosh, that is a lot of folks with diabetes. The number includes both type 1 and type 2, but the vast majority, about 90 percent, have type 2 diabetes which is very much driven by lifestyle choices. What is equally interesting is that it is a problem in all countries, including those that are low income, so it has become a global health issue.

Where is diabetes on the rise? In low income countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt and Mexico.

Where are the lowest rates of diabetes in the world? Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The top five countries in the world with the highest rates of diabetes? China, India, the USA, Brazil and Indonesia.

In the U.S. over the 34-year time span that this report covered, diabetes increase by 50 percent for women and 80 percent for men. Many cases of type 2 diabetes are related to excess weight.

There is no easy fix for any of this worldwide epidemic of diabetes but awareness is the first step to making global changes.

People need to have the blood screening to detect the trend toward diabetes. It is so much better to catch it in the pre-diabetes range rather than at type 2. And it can be reversed – that means many folks are able to get their glucose readings back into the normal range with a few lifestyle changes.

  • Lose weight if needed
  • Daily walk or physical activity
  • Drink sugar-free beverages like water
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet with minimally processed foods

Recipes to try:

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About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.