Posts tagged: lifestyle

CDC Sounds Alarm Over Exploding Diabetes Epidemic Impacting 100 Million In USA Alone While Food Companies Keep Selling Junk Food

CDC Sounds Alarm Over Exploding Diabetes Epidemic Impacting 100 Million In USA Alone While Food Companies Keep Selling Junk Food
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All over the world, diabetes affects over 400 million people of various ages, young and old. According to the World Health Organization, the numbers rose from 108 million in 1980 to over 422 million in 2014. That is a fourfold increase in global prevalence for diabetes; these numbers continue to rise each year especially in middle- and low-income countries where access to healthcare and healthy food choices is quite limited. [1]

A publication by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2017 was alarming to say the least. The numbers were practically catastrophic; out of the projected 321 million population in the US in 2015, more than 100 million Americans were living with diabetes or prediabetes. The CDC estimated over 30.2 million people of all ages in the US had diabetes in 2015, with 23 million being diagnosed diabetics and the remaining 7.2 percent being undiagnosed diabetics. [2]

The scariest part is the number of prediabetics, which came up to a whopping 84.1 million people. The statistics also showed that nearly half of the adult population in the US 65 years and older were likely to be prediabetic. Prediabetics are people with high fasting blood glucose or HbA1C levels, indicative of the body being unable to absorb the excess glucose circulating in the blood. [2]

How Do You Get Diabetes

Getting diagnosed with diabetes isn’t as easy as blaming one thing, like an unhealthy diet (though that may be the case for some). A person becomes diabetic because of various risk factors. While genes may indeed play a role in increasing your risk for diabetes, modifiable risk factors such as a person’s lifestyle choices play an even bigger part.

The following are risk factors among diabetics in the US aged 18 years and older. [2]

1. Smoking, 15.9 percent of diagnosed diabetics were current smokers while 34.5 percent were past smokers who had had at least 100 cigarettes in their entire life.

2. Being overweight or obese, 87.5 percent of diagnosed diabetics were either overweight or obese, meaning they had a body mass index of 25 or higher. To breakdown the percentage further, 26.1 percent were overweight with a BMI of 25 to less than 30, 43.5 percent were obese with a BMI of 30 to less than 40, and 17.8 percent were severely obese with a BMI of 40 and higher.

3. Sedentary lifestyle or physical inactivity was a risk factor in 40.8 percent of diagnosed diabetics in the US. A sedentary lifestyle was characterized by less than 10 minutes a week of moderate or vigorous physical activity (either in work, leisure time, or transportation).

4. Hypertension was present in 73.6 percent of diagnosed diabetics, making diabetes and hypertension likely coexisting morbidities in one person. Hypertension was characterized by systolic blood pressure of 140 or higher or diastolic blood pressure of 90 or higher.

5. Hyperlipidemia or high cholesterol was seen in 58.2 percent of diagnosed diabetics aged 21 years and older who did not report a cardiovascular comorbidity and 66.9 percent of diagnosed diabetics aged 21 and older who self-reported a cardiovascular comorbidity.

6. Hyperglycemia is the golden standard among these risk factors, meaning an HbA1C value higher than 9 percent was seen in 15.6 percent of diagnosed diabetics in the US in 2015.

Other statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that diabetes was seventh on a top 15 list of leading causes of mortalities in the US, based on data from 2016. Diabetes was estimated to have caused 80, 058 deaths in 2016, which was 2.9 percent of the population during that year. [3]

Despite these harrowing numbers, diabetes remains largely a preventable disease that could be managed efficiently with the right lifestyle changes and choices. While most diabetics will need to be managed with medications and even insulin injections, a healthy lifestyle is still needed in conjunction with any sort of medical treatment for any effect to take place.

Diabetes Risk Reduction By Lifestyle Choices

1. Regular exercise: The American Heart Association recommends that you undertake 150+ minutes per week of of moderate aerobic activity (that’s about 30 minutes each day for five out of the week) or 75 minutes weekly of vigorous aerobic exercise. [4]

Examples of moderate intensity activities include brisk walking, water aerobics, dancing, gardening, doubles tennis, or biking slower than 10 miles per hour. Vigorous intensity activities include hiking uphill or with weights, running, swimming laps, aerobics, yardwork like digging, singles tennis, cycling fasted than 10 miles per hour, or jumping rope. [4]

2. Changing your diet: A healthy diet free from processed and junk food is probably your best weapon in lowering your blood sugar and fighting diabetes, or if you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, a healthy diet will make sure your blood sugar levels are kept in check. Avoid fast food, canned sodas and instant fruit juices, and processed snacks and canned meats. While these unhealthy food choices may be cheaper and less time consuming that preparing your own meal from scratch, they will help keep you healthier in the long run, preventing trips to the doctor and being prescribed medications that will hamper not only your budget but your lifestyle as well.

In 2016, the conclusion of a study published in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes was that a diet high in processed foods was related to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Contrarily, the researchers concluded that reducing consumption of processed food items and eating fresh local produce could potentially reduce your risk for diabetes. [5] Similarly, a study published in 2015 concluded that consuming sugar sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and fruit juice increased your risk for diabetes as well. [6]

While the marketing for junk food and fast food restaurants is quite appealing and would likely convince you to purchase them on your next grocery run or day out, better think again and make better choices for yourself and your family. Companies who want you to buy their products don’t care about your health, they only care about that money you will spend on their products. Keep that in mind.


[1] World Health Organization. Diabetes key facts.

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017.

[3] National Vital Statistics Reports. Deaths: Final Data for 2016.

[4] American Heart Association. American Heart Association Recommendation for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids.

[5] Reeds, J., et. al. Dietary Patterns and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in a First Nations Community.

[6] Imamura, F., et. al. (2015). Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and fruit juice and incidence of type 2 diabetes: systematic review, meta-analysis, and estimation of population attributable fraction.

US Fertility Rate Hits A Record Low

US Fertility Rate Hits A Record Low
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Widespread infertility is a phenomenon that is strongly linked to the end of societies in popular culture – for example in Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”. There is scientific reasoning behind this. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the latest report on the rates of fertility being at the lowest they have ever been since they began going down. [1] Fertility rates in the USA have continued to decline over the years since the Great Recession in 2008.

Possible Causes Of Fertility Drop

• Obesity is one of the issues that have been linked to infertility. This is because obesity has a negative effect on fertility. As long as the country continues to struggle with obesity, it will also face the impending doom of infertility. [2] This is because studies have also shown that obesity can be passed down through genes.

• Environmental pollution is another issue associated with infertility. Chemicals that get into people’s bodies cause disturbances in hormones and procreation functions. It is reported that the same is happening for the mammals at sea. Substances in plastics have for example been implicated as hormone disruptors and plastic food packaging is considered a potential culprit.

• Lifestyle changes and a diminished desire to have children as young adults. Personal timelines are another issue as many people are starting families later in life. The issue is that women, unlike men, encounter challenges when they try to get children later in life. [3] The only alternative they may have is freezing their eggs or borrowing from an egg donor.

• Lack of good childcare policies and parental leave options has also contributed to the low fertility problem. People are also choosing to have children later because of the hostility of policies offered by employers restricting family life. The cost of good childcare is also expensive, and this forces some people to put off bearing children for a while.

The Replacement Fertility Rate And The “Aging Society”

The US has been keeping track of the fertility rate, which has been gradually declining every year. While the rate has been dropping at a slight rate, the cause for worry is that it has been declining for around 10 consecutive years. This is a cause for concern since fertility rate is used as a measure for the nation’s wellbeing. [4] When it is too low, there is imminent risk of the country lacking sufficient fit young workers to ensure productivity. A very high rate, on the other hand, could exhaust resources.

The ‘replacement’ fertility rate which is 2.1, has been below the optimal level for several decades. This number has also been continuously dropping in recent years. Further suggestions have been made that the trend is a result of societal disorganization which cannot allow individuals to have the number of children they want. Other people have linked it to the state of the economy.

Researchers have also tied the low birth rate in the country as an input to the ‘aging society.’ This concept refers to having a greater portion of people above the age of 65 years compared to those below 15 years in the population. [4] Such a demographic composition will cause effects that are immensely felt in the community in the future.


[1] Martin, Joyce A., et al. “Products – Data Briefs – Number 346 – July 2019.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 July 2019,

[2] Park, Madison. “US Fertility Rate Falls to Lowest on Record.” CNN, Cable News Network, 11 Aug. 2016.

[3] Rowe, John W., et al. “Effects of Historically Low Birth Rate Will Reverberate for Years to Come.” The Hill, 21 May 2018,

[4] Silvestris, Erica, et al. Obesity as disruptor of the female fertility. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 16.1 (2018): 22.