Diabetes on the rise: By the numbers

Consider nutrition’s role in diabetes this National Nutrition Month.

The sharp upward trajectory of the number of young people under the age of 20 developing diabetes projects to reach 526,000 in 2060 — a 700 percent increase over today.

For doctors and other medical professionals, this stark forecast sounds a cause for concern as it’s diabetes that bring a significant increase in the risk of developing heart disease, having a stroke or experiencing various other quality-of-life-limiting complications as patients progress in the disease.

It can even result in premature death.

However, as it’s obesity that’s the leading cause of young people developing type 2 diabetes (the most common form), it’s one of the few chronic conditions that can be prevented through lifestyle modifications — specifically, by practicing proper nutrition and being physically active.

Diabetes by the numbers

1.4 million

Americans diagnosed with diabetes annually

96 million

Americans considered pre-diabetic

37.3 million

Americans living with diabetes every day

422 million

Worldwide population living with diabetes

95 percent

Cases of type 2 diabetes among all diabetes diagnoses


American youths (18 and under) diagnosed with diabetes


American youths (18 and under) diagnosed with diabetes in 2014


American death certificates listing diabetes annually


Leading cause of death in the United States

$337 billion

Medical costs directly associated with diabetes

Nutrition and diabetes prevention

It’s the most common form of diabetes, but type 2 is also the most preventable form of the condition.

Slight lifestyle modifications can have significant strides in avoiding a future diagnosis.

Losing excess weight

Greater weight loss will go further in lower risk, but even a 7 percent weight loss can reduce risk by up to 60 percent.

Increasing physical activity

Cardiovascular and weight resistance exercises aid in lowering blood sugar, boosting insulin sensitivity and weight loss.

Healthy diet

Fruits and vegetables provide healthy carbs, sugars, and fiber, and unsaturated fats promote healthy cholesterol and cardiovascular wellness.

Commitment to these lifestyle modifications, while avoiding short-term, limited-success “fad” programs will increase the likelihood of long-term, sustained good health.