Why Is Diabetes Improving For Whites, But Not For Blacks?

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In 1988 to 1994, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes was 5.5 percent. By the next survey in 1999 to 2004, that number had risen to 7.6 percent. In the final survey, done from 2005 to 2010, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes was 9.3 percent.

During that same time period, levels of obesity also rose. For people without diabetes, obesity rates rose from about 21 percent in the first survey to over 32 percent in the last. In those with diabetes, nearly 44 percent were obese during the first survey. That number rose to about 61 percent in the most recent survey.

Results of the study appear in the April 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“The reality is that we know what to do to prevent type 2 diabetes, but doing it on a population level is an incredible challenge,” Selvin said. “There’s some evidence that the obesity epidemic may have plateaued, but combating the environment that contributes to obesity is an incredible difficulty.”

The Overall Lesson: People Have Got To Start Getting Healthier

Experts suggested that encouraging people to become healthier will continue to involve a developed healthy lifestyle strategy, such as it becoming commonplace for a doctor to counsel overweight patients on making diet and exercise changes.

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