Type 2 Diabetes:
A Growing Epidemic A recent medical research report, looking
ahead from the year 2000, set the tone for today's high -- and
growing -- level of concern about the increasing diabetes
"Diabetes mellitus has reached epidemic proportions worldwide as
we enter the new millennium. The World Health Organization (WHO)
has commented there is 'an apparent epidemic of diabetes which
is strongly related to lifestyle and economic change.' Over the
next decade the projected number will exceed 200 million,
possibly reaching 250 million persons. Most will have type 2
diabetes, and all are at risk of the development of
Even more alarming, a new epidemic of type 2 diabetes is
affecting America's children. Just 10 years ago, type 2 diabetes
was rare; by 1999, type 2 diabetes affected children in up to
45% of diagnosed cases, depending on geographic location.
But maybe you haven't been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and
neither has anyone close to you. You may be wondering why you
need to be concerned.
The answer? Many of those millions of new type 2 cases won't be
diagnosed for years -- but some already have their beginnings in
today's unhealthy lifestyles. This means that you (or someone
you care about) may already have type 2 diabetes, or develop it,
if you are aging, eating an unhealthy diet, are obese, and/or
are living a sedentary (non-active) lifestyle.
What can you do? Ask your doctor about healthy actions you can
take now to avoid being swept up by the type 2 epidemic in the
years ahead. Or, if you have some
signs of type 2 diabetes, see your doctor as soon as
possible. Encourage the people you care about to take these
precautions as well.
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