India Study Finds 11% of the Population Is Diabetic

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 422 million people across the globe have diabetes. The world’s most populous country, India, is witnessing a rise in diabetes.

A new Indian government-funded study finds 11.4% of the population has diabetes. Their discoveries were published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology medical journal on June 7.

The study by the Indian Council of Medical Research-India Diabetes (ICMR-INDIAB) conducted a population survey for individuals over the age of 20. Researchers say participants were drawn from rural and urban areas across India’s 31 states, territories, and its national capital.

For their methods, researchers incorporated a multistage-sample design to consider factors of geography, population size, and socioeconomic status of each Indian state. In total, 113,043 participants were included in the study.

Along with the diabetes prevalence within the population, researchers found 15.3% contained symptoms of prediabetes and 35.5% had high blood pressure. A big reason for these symptoms could be due to the 28.6% obesity rate revealed in the study. Obesity is one of the root causes of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. A key way to fight obesity is through physical activity.

In 2014, the ICMR-INDIAB found high levels of inactivity in four regions of India – Tamilnadu, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Chandigarh. Researchers found less than 10% of individuals involved in the study participated in recreational physical activity. The rise of diabetes in India can be tied to the increase in sedentary life combined with growing obesity rates.

Type 1 diabetes is believed to be caused by the body attacking itself as a mistake, known as an autoimmune reaction. The CDC notes type 1 diabetes usually develops in children, teens, and young adults, but the disease can arrive at any age. Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented with healthy lifestyle changes.

Preventing type 2 diabetes

Setting short-term weight loss goals and moving toward a more desirable weight can help prevent type 2 diabetes. Having a healthy diet with fewer sugars and more protein can be a great start in your weight loss journey. The CDC recommends fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy options, lean meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, and whole-grain breads as great diet options.

Exercise is a major component of preventing type 2 diabetes. For adults, it is recommended to participate in physical activity three to four times per week for at least 30 minutes. At least 60 minutes per day of physical activity is advised for children. Exercise also serves as an escape and a way to release potential stressful energy.

Simple exercise activities include brisk walking, recreational swimming or water aerobics, yoga, and slow dancing. More high-intensity workouts feature involve running, competitive swimming, tough hikes, high-intensity interval training, and other activities that increase the heart rate faster than slower forms of exercise.

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