27 August 2013

World leader

The CDC estimates that 8.3% of the U.S. population (all ages) have diabetes.

Surprisingly to me, the diabetes rate in the U.S. is far from the worst in the world. In fact, the International Diabetes Foundation puts the U.S. at 73rd in the world in terms of our diabetes rate.

The worst-off countries are in Oceania. The Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Polynesia are the hardest-hit. The International Diabetes Foundation estimates their diabetes rates among adults as 27.1%, 30.1%, and 37.3%, respectively. These countries' diabetes rates are nightmarish. Their obesity rates are nightmarish too: 71.1% in Nauru, compared to 35.7% in the U.S.

The reasons for this discrepancy are manifold, but a key player is the adoption of a Western diet. Whatever the cause, it's alarming that there is such a health burden around the world of diabetes. Diabetes is a huge health problem here in the U.S., where diabetic patients tend to have access to good treatments and medical care. I can't imagine what it is like for a country to have treble or quadruple our diabetes rate.