Diabetes, your risk is 40%

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Learn how to reduce your risk.

A recent study published in Lancet shows the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is at almost 41% for men and almost 40% for women. That is each of us has a 2 in 5 chance of developing diabetes. For Hispanic men and women, the rates exceed 50%. This is a terrible reality for all of us as well as our national health care expenditures.

The trend in new diabetes diagnoses has been equally as bad. In 1958, less than 1% (0.93%) of the US population had the diagnosis of diabetes. By 2010, the percentage of diagnosed diabetics reached 6.95%. This is an increase of 747%. This is the largest long-term disease epidemic we face. Now with the latest study we see the epidemic growing to more 2,000% of the diabetic rates of 1958.

What I have seen in patients over the years is not only a general increase in weight and diabetes, but also a number of patients that are thin and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. That goes against the current thoughts that to develop type 2 diabetes you would first have to be overweight. Why are thin people developing type 2 diabetes?

In general, you can reduce the risk of diabetes by reducing calories and exercising more. But exercise and diet will not reduce the rate to the low figures we saw in 1958. Many patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes will still need treatment after achieving a goal weight and exercising regularly. What is missing? We are certainly not evolving that fast and it is not in our genes.

What we have seen over the last 50 years is an exponential growth of foods that are preserved and have added chemicals. One only needs to look at the ingredients found on a packaged product from your local store. The quick preserved meals and processed meats are often a more convenient choice, but is it a healthy choice? These have become mainstays in our diet. Only now we are beginning to see some scientific evidence that our food is also causing diabetes. In an observational review of multiple studies the evidence suggests a 50% increase in type 2 diabetes rates from consuming 50 grams of processed meat per day. Let’s put that in perspective, that’s less than half of a 4 ounce hot dog.

Bottom Line: Diabetes is on the rise. Your risk is 40%. Evidence shows a strong association between processed meats and Diabetes.

Action Item: Avoid all processed meats, try to eat as chemical free as possible. Watch you weight and begin a walking/exercise program. The small steps count.

Processed meats and rates of Diabetes:

For Rates of Diabetes statistics see the CDC report:

See the study published in Lancet showing the new expected cases of Diabetes in the US: