5 Reasons Why Diabetes In The U.S. Is On The Rise
Diabetes in the U.S. is certainly on the rise, but the question remains: why? Unlike other diseases that primarily affect specific age groups or demographics, diabetes in the U.S. is a diverse and pervasive enemy.
Why Is The Rate Of Diabetes Increasing?
Diabetes is a condition that no longer discriminates and is increasingly affecting children, teens, and adults alike. Traditionally associated with obesity, the condition is rapidly spreading across the country and negatively impacting both young and old.
While prevention is key, detection is also critical, which is why monitoring blood glucose levels is important for those living with diabetes as well as their loved ones at risk. Blood glucose strips allow individuals to track their own blood sugar levels at home, making this condition easier to manage.
It’s true that diabetes management has evolved, and awareness of the risks is widely known, but the disease continues to affect more and more Americans each year.
To understand why, we need to delve deeper into its cause and look at new ways of minimizing the risk to public health.
The Two Types Of Diabetes
Diabetes can come in two types, each with its own distinct causes and health implications. Type 1 is often diagnosed early on and is an autoimmune condition where the body fails to naturally produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is caused when the body develops insulin resistance or can’t make enough insulin.
Top 5 Reasons Behind the Rise of Diabetes In The U.S.
#1 Diet and Obesity:
In 2022, the number of fast-food restaurants in the US exceeded 198,000. A year later, it’s extremely likely that this figure has surpassed the 200,000 mark. A diet high in fatty, sugary food will not only expand your waistline but also increase your diabetes risk. Type 2 diabetes is closely linked with being overweight, and as we know, in the United States, fast food is a serious and growing public health concern. Combined with a fast-paced lifestyle, more parents are leaning on fast food to feed themselves and their kids, thus increasing the cases of diabetes more and more.
#2 Cholesterol & Type 1:
One of the main risk factors associated with Type 1 diabetes is genetics. If a family member, especially your parents or siblings, has diabetes, your risk increases considerably. But, data also shows that Type 1 can also be linked with high cholesterol in childhood. Are children and teenagers across the country indulging in too many hamburgers, sausages and beef tacos? It’s certainly something researchers and medical professionals are now considering.
#3 Screen Time:
Have you noticed that more toddlers and children carry screens and digital devices with them while out and about, rather than their favorite soft toy or comfort blanket? According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, American kids and teens aged between 8 and 18 now spend an average of 7.5 hours a day in front of a screen. This sedentary childhood can be a trigger for diabetes when combined with a highly processed diet of fast food and sugary snacks.
#4 Environmental Factors:
The environment plays a subtle yet significant role in the rise of diabetes, particularly Type 2. Exposure to certain toxins and chemicals, often found in plastics, cosmetics, and pesticides, has also been linked to an increased risk of diabetes. Environmental disruptors can silently interfere with the body's hormonal systems and insulin regulation, adding to the rapidly increasing cases of diabetes in the US.
#5 Stress and Mental Health:
Americans are struggling with anxiety, work-related stress and depression, and these mental health conditions can trigger hormonal imbalances that have a knock-on effect on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. So, if you’re trying to stay fit and healthy, focus not only on your physical form but your mental well-being, too.