For years, new cases of diabetes in the United States have been on the rise. Now, new diagnoses of type 2 diabetes have dropped by nearly 20 percent in the last six years.
The rate of new cases fell by about a fifth from 2008 to 2014, The New York Times reported. There were 1.7 million new cases of diabetes in 2008 and 1.4 million in 2014. This is the first consistent decline in 25 years, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The drop in diabetes has been a gradual one and for several years it hasn’t been big enough to have a significant statistical mark. However, new 2014 data released Tuesday helps confirm that the decline is happening.
“It seems pretty clear that incidence rates have now actually started to drop,” said one of C.D.C.’s diabetes researchers, Edward Gregg. “Initially it was a little surprising because I had become so used to seeing increases everywhere we looked.”
Experts say that they aren’t sure whether diabetes prevention efforts are working, or if the disease has just peaked in the population. It’s important to mention that there’s growing evidence stating that eating habits have finally started to improve.
For instance, the amount of soda Americans drink has declined about 25 percent since the late 1990s and the average number of calories adults and children consume daily has also gone down, The Times reported.
Additionally, physical activity has started to increase and obesity, a huge Type 2 diabetes driver, rates have steadied.
Type 1 diabetes, which is diagnosed in childhood and adolescence and isn’t normally associated with excess weight, was included in the research as well.
Though we have seen a decline in Type 2 diabetes, Americans with diabetes was still more than double what it was in the early 90s. And a recent study showed that nearly 75 percent of men and 66 percent of women are overweight in the U.S.
“It’s not yet time to have a parade,” David M. Nathan, director of the Diabetes Center and Clinical Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital said, according to UPI. But, he did say that the decrease in cases during the last few years illustrates “it has finally entered into the consciousness of our population that the sedentary lifestyle is a real problem, that increased body weight is a real problem.”
Nevertheless, this is an important change!