- The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that the largest numbers of people with diabetes were from the South East Asia and Western Pacific Regions- accounting for approximately half the diabetes in the world.
It is estimated by WHO that nearly 80 percent of deaths due to diabetes occur in low to middle-income countries and the number is estimated to double between the years 2016 to 2030. 425 million people have diabetes in the world of which 82 million people are found in the South East Asia region and by 2045 this will rise to 151 million. It was estimated by the International Diabetes federation that there were over 72.946.400 cases of diabetes in India in the year 2017.
- Diabetes is India’s fastest growing disease.
India currently represents 49 percent of the world’s diabetes burden. In India over 72 million cases were recorded in 2017 and the figure is expected to nearly double to 134 million by 2025. This presents a serious public health challenge for the country as it is also facing a future of high population growth. Although the South Asian population is four times more likely to develop the disease than Europeans due to genetic susceptibility, environmental factors including diet have been found to contribute over 50 percent of the risk. This rising prevalence of diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases is driven by a combination of factors that include rapid urbanization, sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets. Although diabetes is known to affect relatively well off people, the growing availability of fast, relatively cheap food in recent years has meant that poor diets are now found across all income brackets.
There is an alarming rise of diabetes in adolescent in India.
Adult-onset diabetes is a condition usually seen in older people- within the age group of 40 to 50 year olds, yet according to the Indian Council of Medical Research’s Youth Diabetes registry, currently 1 in 4 people under the age of 25 suffer from it. A boom in the economic condition of the country over the past two decades has brought about a change in lifestyle and food habits that include more junk food. This brought a sharp rise in obesity in young children- along with lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. Nearly 30% of India’s teenagers are obese, nearly twice the number in 2010.
The World Health Organisation says in this regard that “obesity and overweight are the most important risk factors responsible for diabetes. Much of the diabetes burden can be prevented or delayed by behavioural changes favouring a healthy diet and regular physical activity.”