Four Scary Diabetes Stats. And It’s Getting Worse

blood glucose test

photo: Vanderbilt University

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes is on the rise in America. Key findings from a recently published report:

  • 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. That almost one out of ten Americans!
  • In just 4 years, over 3 million new people have joined the diabetes family!
  • 1 in 4 people with diabetes does not even know it.
  • 86 million adults aged 20 years and older have prediabetes. That’s over 25% of Americans.

If these numbers aren’t enough to make your stomach turn, brace yourself for the future, because estimates talk of 100 million Americans with diabetes by 2050. That’s diabetes in every family.

These are impressive numbers if you are a pharmaceutical company. But for everyone else, diabetes is huge tax on health, happiness, and other resources. If you or someone you love is living with diabetes, you know how consuming this disease is. It  requires constant monitoring of blood glucose levels, medication, insulin injections, visits to physicians and hospitals, and more. All this just to manage the disease. If co-morbidity such as heart disease or kidney disease exist, the situation is even more complicated.

The saddest part of it all is that most people suffer from type 2 diabetes, which is totally preventable through proper nutrition and weight management. But prevention is not an attractive business model in America. It’s much more profitable for corporations to fatten us up through fast food and junk food, and then to get us hooked on meds and expensive healthcare as treatment. Heaven forbid that our federal government intervene with some serious public health policy and regulation. Because that would be an infringement on freedom and the American way of life. Our right to freedom from disease is secondary to the right of junk food corporations to make money. Until this changes, diabetes will hit more and more American families.

  • Maddie

    How many of those 29 million people are type 2 diabetics and how many are type 1? I have type 1 and know it’s frustrating to see nonspecific statistics like these.

    • Anna

      Type 1 is very serious as well, but type two is much more relevant to a blog that covers exclusively proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy body weight. Type 1 is not to be ignored, but type 2, in this non-health conscious society, just seems to be a more immediate, and preventable, issue.

    • Fooducate

      Hi Maddie, the CDC did not provide specific information in this study, but the numbers in past surveys have been 90% type 2 diabetes and only 10% type 1.

      • michele

        Also-there has been an increase in diagnosis of type 1 around the world. I work at a diabetic clinic. Whether it is more due to doctors diagnosing more or more cases, as testing criteria and ranges have changed drastically, so jury is still out so-to-speak. I do believe that the more people know about what the food companies are doing (see Food Inc) the better choices people are making. I see more people of all backgrounds walking and running-as opposed to a few years ago. Gov. Can make companies more accountable, but please keep them at that. Educate the people. Offer incentives, and options. :) My opinion of course.

        • michele

          Also-thank goodness we are finally getting people off soda! This was in all our schools, people were drinking it all day every day. Diet as well, not good. So-another positive. :)

  • H2O

    If you have a patient with diabetes you have a patient for life. People on medication never get better. Yes I do see people with diabetes who are on medication who eat garbage drink poison and don’t exersice. I heard there is more amputation due to diabetes than trama. I don’t ever want that kind of life for or my family or me

    • H2O

      Opps Trauma not trama

  • Si

    This article is mostly for type 2 diabetics..I know there is a lot of factors, but type 2 is somewhat a lifestyle choice ( I said somewhat calm down )..Type 1 we have NO choice..All the numbers here only about 5% of that are type 1 (lucky us ) Oh by the way if someone will to put up the money for a scientific exploration… I’m willing to go to the rainforest and just lick stuff until I find a cure for diabetes….

    • Dale

      Well, lifestyle triggers the existing genetic tendency and then aggravates the condition. There are five generations of T2 diabetics in my family. Also a tendency for the women to weigh more.

      As a consequence of this and poor choices in my teens and early 20′s I developed the disease.

      Happily, there are ways to reach remission – weight loss surgeries. LOTS of vigilance over diet and exercise. Remissions don’t last forever in many cases but a break in the cycle of diabetes ravishing your body is a welcome relief (speaking from experience here).

      • Thinkfirst

        Thank you to everyone who provided positive reinforcement, positive information but most of all not posting judgemental assumptions! Thanks again.

  • Disgusted

    Well people want to eat themselves to death through these fast food poisons…they don’t want to educate themselves so the government has a field’s all connected bad food ..doctors need people to be sick …pharmacies need people to need medicine …and the government need people to die….

    • tennysmom

      I couldn’t agree more! What an awful circle of death..I mean I know we’re born to eventually die but not like that..

    • Thinkfirst

      I do not eat fadt food unfortunately, its hereditary. STOP making assumptions and generalizing why someone has diabetes. I pray you aren’t predisposed to diabetes.

  • Sunday

    I know no one wants to hear this but a raw plat based diet reverses diabetes. It’s on you tube under Simply raw reversing diabetes and 30 days. I’m not sure if they have type one diabetics in this documentary but it’s worth a look.

    • Aria Gonzalez

      A raw plant based diet will also ultimately make you sick from nutrient deficiencies. A cooked plant based diet is better… preferably supplemented with organ meats and eggs for nutrition. But I do agree that plants are a very good start.

  • Sunday

    Oops plant not plat

  • paula deen

    Type twooooooooo

  • Stan

    Freaking love this post! I love how you said ‘These are impressive numbers if you are a pharmaceutical company’… It’s so god Damn true all of our health problems benefit these corporations… We are making them profitable at the cost of our health. I feel like public policy is an option but education (fooducation ;) ) is the best medicine.


  • julofdenial

    A plant-based diet is the best answer. Fruits veggies, nuts, seeds, healthy oils like coconut and olive oil. Add 30-60 mins of daily cardio exercise and a wee bit of strength training and your medical problems are minimized or gone.You won’t lack nutrients if you take supplements where needed. Calcium for women, possibly B12. This is mother nature at her finest. The other alternative is to avoid eating carbs or limit them drastically so that you don’t need an insulin injection (T2 diabetics). I put my 79 yr old mother on a majority plant-based diet and got her involved in regular exercise and social activities. She’s shocked when I show her delicious low-carb food that had little to no effect on her blood-glucose levels. No more dependency on insulin. Only when she insists that she needs those high carb treats.