Diabetes - a most worrying global situation

on Tue 5 Sep


According to the World Health Organisation there has been a four-fold increase in worldwide cases of diabetes over the last 25 years.  It blames a growing consumption of food and drink which is high in sugar coupled with a lack of exercise.


Rates have risen most significantly in Africa, The Middle East and Asia causing a severe strain on health authorities who are dealing not only with diabetes but of the associated complications such as heart disease, kidney failure, strokes, nerve damage, blindness and amputation.


This has coincided with growing rates of obesity – indeed two thirds of people in the UK and the US are now considered overweight.


Public Education


Many countries have turned to public education programmes to raise awareness. In America the “Small Steps, Big Rewards” campaign began in 1997 and was based on a landmark study by the Diabetes Prevention Program which found that “people at increased risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5% to 7% of their body weight through increased physical activity and a reduced fat and lower calorie diet”


20 years later it is estimated that the campaign has reached over 1 billion people through news coverage but, despite this, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that, as of 2015, 100 million US adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes. This rather indicates that individuals have still not realised that they must bear responsibility for their health in this area.


Diabetes in China


China has an even bigger problem and is now regarded as having the largest diabetic population in the world with an estimated 109 million diabetics in 2015. That is nearly 1 in 10 of the population (in the UK it is estimated that diabetes affects 1 in 20 people)


The situation has escalated extremely quickly (Just 1 % of the population had diabetes during the 1980’s). It is attributed to rapid economic development and the subsequent growth in availability of high-calorie diets, cars and sedentary lifestyles


In the 1980’s diabetes affected about 1% of the population, but as China has benefited from rapid economic development, a more Western lifestyle has infiltrated Chinese culture which has led to people eating more and exercising less. This is a particular problem in urban areas where economic development is at its fastest and traditional dietary practices are being quickly eroded.


According to an August 2016 article The China National Plan for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Treatment is the main government initiative tasked with managing the epidemic.  


Guang Ning, expert adviser to the plan and vice-chairman of the Chinese Endocrine Society, offers many suggestions to alleviate the rampant emergence of diabetes including “nationwide health education to increase public awareness, promotion of food policies to reduce high-sodium and high-fat food consumption and improvement of accessibility to health equipment to support physical activity.”



Consequences and what YOU can do


Of course, this growing global problem not solely about health. As the WHO report says “diabetes and its complications bring about substantial economic loss to people with diabetes and their families, and to health systems and national economies through direct medical costs and loss of work and wages”

It is hoped that education about essential changes to lifestyle and a greater understanding of the severe consequences will ultimately persuade individuals to take responsibility.  Not least for the sake our children and our children’s children.

If this blog post has made you think and you would like to know how to avoid getting pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes please download my advice sheet here.


To read the WHO Global Report on Diabetes please click here 


Although every effort is made to ensure that all health advice on this website is accurate and up to date it is for information purposes and should not replace a visit to your doctor or health care professional.

As the advice is general in nature rather than specific to individuals Dr Vanderpump cannot accept any liability for actions arising from its use nor can he be held responsible for the content of any pages referenced by an external link



acanthosis nigricans Acromegaly Addison's disease adolescent diabetes problems adolescent thyroid problems Adrenal crisis adrenal fatigue Adrenal glands Anovulation artificial pancreas Autoimmune Thyroiditis Bariatric Surgery blood glucose levels blood pressure breastfeeding CAH Charcot foot cholesterol CHT coffee cold and flu medications Conception Congenital adrenal hyperplasia congenital hypothyroidism Consultant Endocrinologist London coronavirus cortisol covid-19 Cushing's disease Cushing's syndrome Depression Diabetes diabetes and bone health diabetes and heart health diabetes and oral health diabetes and parkinsons diabetes and sexual dysfunction diabetes and skin conditions diabetes and thrush diabetes in China diabetes insipidus diabetes latest diabetic ketoacidosis diabetic neuropathy Diabetic prevalence diabetic retinopathy diet for diabetes diet for obesity Disability Act Down's Syndrome Dr Mark Vanderpump e-consulting endocrine system fertility folic acid Freestyle Libre frozen shoulder and thyroid Fruit sugars gestational diabetes Gigantism Glucose Monitoring Glucose Tolerance Test gluten free Goitre Graves Disease Graves Orbitopathy guthrie test hair loss Hashimoto's Disease healthcare services hearing loss Heart Disease heel prick test Hepatitis C Hormones - most important how to lose weight hyperparathyroidism Hypersecretion Hyperthyroidism hyperthyroidism and respiratory problems Hypocalcaemia Hypogonadism hypoparathyroidism hypophysitis Hyposecretion Hypothyroidism hypothyroidism and respiratory problems IFG IGT immunotherapy side effects Impaired Fasting Glucose Impaired Glucose Tolerance Insulin Resistance Iodine IR iron Labour and birth late onset hypogonadism Levothyroxine Long Covid losing weight Low testosterone Mark Vanderpump MEN1 MEN2 menopause metabolic syndrome mood changes morning sickness Multiple endocrine neoplasia neuroendocrine tumour neuropathy Obesity obstructive sleep apnoea older patients online doctor OSA Osteoporosis overactive thyroid ozempic Pancreas Pancreatic Cancer Pancreatic Diabetes parathyroid glands Patient Resources Patient Support Groups PCOS PCOS and acne PCOS and fertility PCOS and Insulin PCOS diet Phaeochromocytomas Pituitary Gland POF Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Post menopause thyroid problem Post pregnancy thyroid problem postnatal diabetes medication postnatal thyroid medication Prader-Willi Syndrome pre-eclampsia prediabetes pregnancy Pregnancy and Diabetes Pregnancy and Thyroid Disease Premature Ovarian Failure prolactinomas PTH puberty Radioactive Iodine RAI resistant hypertension semaglutide Sheehan's Syndrome Skin tags sleep and diabetes sleep and obesity soy Soya steroid dependent subacute thyroiditis T4 Tara Palmer Tomkinson testosterone Tetany The endocrine system Thyroid thyroid and menstruation thyroid cancer Thyroid disease in children thyroid nodules Thyroid Storm thyroid tests Thyroiditis Thyrotoxic Periodic Paralysis Thyroxine TSH levels TSH Testing tumours Type 1 diabetes Type 2 Diabetes Type 3 diabetes underactive thyroid Vitamin B complex Vitamin D Waist circumference weight gain weightloss

Please get in touch

Phone: 07565 978310

Contact form