The United States has long been known as one of the most overweight countries on planet Earth for many years now. As a matter of fact, Americans’ diets are so unhealthy that the Standard American Diet has been named after them, also known as the Western Pattern Diet, which is characterized by processed foods and the frequent consumption of fast food.
In terms of the world’s developed nations, the United States is also home to the largest national diabetes prevalence, with some 11 percent of American adults suffering from diabetes.
Diabetes is a condition whereby people have problems regulating the body’s blood glucose – or sugar – levels due to a lack of insulin production, normally made by the body’s pancreas. As a result, people are more likely to suffer from heart disease, kidney failure, stroke, and other serious health problems if they have diabetes.
Fittingly, more Americans have prediabetes than any other developed country’s population in the world, with some one-third of American adults currently being recognized as having prediabetes.
Although diabetes is sometimes a genetic disorder, leaving even the healthiest of people prone to suffering from the disease, most people have Type 2 diabetes, meaning they’ve developed the disease as a direct result of poor lifestyle choices such as following the Standard American Diet and failing to exercise regularly.
According to a new study published in the well-known medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, where JAMA is short for the Journal of the American Medical Association, that came out Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, just short of one-quarter of American adolescents and young adults are currently considered to have prediabetes. Prediabetes is characterized by experiencing higher blood glucose levels than normal people, though these levels aren’t yet high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes.
This study found that some 18 percent of American adolescents, ranging in age from 12 to 18, were estimated to have prediabetes, whereas 24 percent of American young adults, ranging in age from 19 to 34, were thought to suffer from the condition. This means that now, more than ever, young Americans are more likely to suffer from serious health outcomes like heart disease on down the line.
Children have generally been affected more by Type 1 diabetes, in which genetics cause young people to develop the condition. Their lifestyle choices have no bearing on their development of diabetes.
The aforementioned study’s results came from a survey that tracked about 5,700 young Americans from 2005 to 2016.