The nation's diabetes epidemic shows no signs of slowing, Reuters reports. Almost twice as many people were diagnosed with the disease between 2005 and 2007 as between 1995 and 1997. Nearly all of the new cases are Type 2, which is linked to obesity and lack of exercise. Nine of the 10 states hardest hit by the epidemic are in the South.
Doctors and researchers say even slight changes in weight and increased exercise can significantly reduce the incidence of diabetes, but people are not heeding warnings. “Some day we'll see a leveling off of diabetes incidence if the obesity rate levels out,” the American Diabetes Association said. “But clearly it hasn't started yet.” About 23.6 million adults and children, or 8% of the population, have diabetes now.