(NaturalNews) -- Although it may come as no surprise to those who have been keeping tabs on the health of the nation, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. has risen steadily and universally from 1995 to 2010. In the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for November 16th, the CDC announced that no demographic (or geographic) category of people has been safe from the sharp increase in diagnosed Type 2 diabetes.
With the alarming statistics in hand, the CDC has encouraged states, healthcare providers, and individuals to intensify their commitment to diabetes prevention, screening, diagnosis, and surveillance. Nearly 19 million Americans are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and an estimated seven million more are living with it undiagnosed.
Every single state - including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico - has seen a sharp increase in diabetes rates since 1995. In many areas, the prevalence of diabetes has surpassed 10 percent. With rising rates of obesity and physical inactivity, these numbers are expected to continue to climb. Furthermore, every single age group, race and ethnicity, and both genders have seen a sharp increase in diabetes prevalence. It seems no group has escaped the wrath of diabetes.
How to stem the tide of diabetes diagnoses?
The primary causes of Type 2 diabetes are related to lifestyle choices: lack of exercise, poor diet, and excess body weight (especially around the midsection). Other risk factors include having had gestational diabetes, a family history of diabetes, and poorly controlled blood pressure or blood triglycerides. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for Type 2 diabetes.
The preventative solution is simple enough, but not the type of solution people like to hear; it takes hard and consistent work, in the form of a healthy diet and regular exercise. Maintaining a healthy body weight (and BMI under 25) is one of the surest ways to prevent a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.
As usual, speaking (or writing) the solution is not as easy as making it happen. Not only does it take personal action, it also requires a better population-wide understanding of diabetes prevention and a full-fledged commitment to health. Dessert foods, a lack of nutrition education, and the modern conveniences associated with transportation and dining options offer little opportunity and incentive for individuals to embrace a healthier lifestyle.
Personal responsibility for health and a society that places value on physical activity, wholesome food, and a balanced lifestyle can help change the direction of the diabetes trend. Awareness and activism can help make inroads; the CDC's call to action will not fall on deaf ears. Let's get started!
About the author: Katie BrindAmour is a Certified Health Education Specialist and passionate health and wellness freelance writer. She enjoys cooking, yoga, gardening, searching for the perfect wine and chocolate combination, and spending time with friends. She has a Masters in Biology and is currently pursuing her PhD in Health Services Management and Policy. She also enjoys blogging for Women's Healthcare Topics and Healthline Networks.