US Diabetes Rate Exploding

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Exploding diabetes ratesSource: CDC Morbity and Mortality Weekly Report
October 31, 2008

The nation’s obesity epidemic is exacting a heavy toll: The rate of new diabetes cases caused by overweight and obesity nearly doubled in the United States in the past 10 years. According to a study led by Karen Kirtland of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes was the nation’s seventh-leading cause of death in 2006.

More than 23 million Americans have diabetes, and the number is rapidly growing – about 1.6 million new cases were diagnosed among adults just in 2007. Roughly 90 percent of cases are Type 2 diabetes, the form linked to obesity. Type 2 diabetics do not produce or use insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar into energy. The illness can cause sugar to build up in the body, leading to complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and poor circulation that leads to foot amputations.

The highest rates of newly diagnosed diabetes cases were in the South, according to the first state-by-state review. The worst was in West Virginia, where about 13 in 1,000 adults were diagnosed with the disease in 2005-2007. The lowest was in Minnesota, where the rate was 5 in 1,000. The findings dovetail with trends seen in obesity and lack of exercise – two health measures where Southern states also rank at the bottom.

How Fat Is Your State?

2008 obesity rates

Source: CalorieLab Fattest States Ranking 2008
based on the CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System database

For 2008 Mississippi has claimed the title of fattest state for the third consecutive year, while Colorado repeats as the leanest. Delaware rose the most places in the rankings over last year, while California dropped the most, according to a new analysis by CalorieLab, Inc.

CalorieLab computed the fattest state rankings for 2008 based on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System database maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In general, states in the West and New England rank lowest in the fattest states rankings, while states in the South and the Rust Belt tend to rank highest.

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