Colette's Blog

It’s No Joke: Half of U.S. Adults Have Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

September 22, 2015

Diabetes is a costly disease—It’s a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S., and it racked up an estimated $245 billion in 2012 due to the increased use of health resources and lost productivity. A recent study in JAMA analyzed the prevalence of and trends in diabetes among U.S. adults, and the results are alarming—at least 50% of U.S. adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

As you may know, diabetes is caused when your blood sugar is elevated, either due to a lack of insulin production (Type 1) or insulin resistance (Type 2), which is usually the result of obesity, poor diet , genetics, and/or a lack of exercise all leading to metabolic syndrome. Pre-diabetes is when a person has elevated triglycerides, low HDL, a large waist circumference, in some cases high blood pressure, and is at risk to develop diabetes. All if which is an indication of some degree of a carbohydrate intolerance.

The JAMA study used data collected as part of the 1988-94 and the 1999-2000

to 2011-12 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) from over

26,000 adults. The researchers say that between this time period, “the

prevalence of diabetes increased significantly among the overall population and

among each age group, both sexes, every racial/ethnic group, every educational

level, and every income level, with a particular rapid increase among non-Hispanic

black and Mexican American participants.”

This surge in diabetes appears to be directly tied to our current obesity epidemic.

What’s the solution? When you follow a controlled

carbohydrate diet like Atkins, you significantly

reduce carb intake overall—with the majority of your carb intake focusing on high

fiber carbohydrate choices such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and controlled portions of whole grains,

depending on your personal carb tolerance—insulin resistance rapidly improves

and blood glucose control is corrected dramatically. Additionally, most people

find that they can stop or substantially reduce their diabetes medications with

the help of their health care provider.

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