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Diabetes Myths, Facts & Figures

What do you think you know about diabetes?

Myth: Diabetes is a bigger problem in North America and Europe than the rest of the world.

Fact: more than 10% of people in the US have diabetes. That's shockingly high, but it ranks 59th worldwide behind Pacific Islands (e.g. 30% in the Marshall Islands), African (e.g. 22% in Sudan), Asian (e.g. 19% in Pakistan), and Latin American (e.g. 17% in Belize) countries. Diabetes is a global issue. Diabetes prevalence (% of population ages 20 to 79) from The World Bank: Data

Myth: We get type 2 diabetes because we eat too much.

Fact: We really don't know what causes diabetes and studies implicate everything from gut bacteria to microplastics to working the night shift. While being overweight is a strong risk factor for type 2 diabetes, genetics, family history, and other environmental factors are too.

Myth: Type 2 diabetes is easily reversed with diet and exercise.

Fact: While weight loss is beneficial to those of us who are overweight, eating less and exercising are unreliable for diabetes remission. For example, 3.5% of people experienced 4-year remission in this study: 10.1001/jama.2012.67929. We should make healthy choices, but eating less and exercising aren't stopping diabetes.

Diabetes Awareness ... Facts & Figures

1 in 10 adults are affected by Diabetes 1 in 2 that have Diabetes are undiagnosed Every 8 seconds someone dies from disease and/or complications of Diabetes People with Diabetes have health care costs that are 2.3 times greater than those without $327B is spent annually on diagnosed diabetes care & treatment … that’s one of every seven healthcare dollars