It appears that a change is finally on the horizon for American dietary habits. The country, which has been plagued by an obesity epidemic for decades, is now starting to show signs of a turnaround.
Ongoing research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that reports of new cases of Diabetes has fallen by almost a fifth in the period 2008-2014.
It was in the late 1980s that Americans first became aware of Diabetes and the associated health risks which it can cause. A diet which is high in saturated fats, sugars and processed foods can lead to an unstable balance of blood sugars, as well as the inability to produce insulin.
Whilst the figures may have fallen within the last six years, it was a very gradual process which was not a cause for celebration, however, the numbers for 2014 as a standalone year (released by the CDC on Tuesday) indicate a significant fall in new cases of Diabetes being registered in the US.
A great deal of the problem stems from the fact that it is more expensive to eat healthy than it is to eat cheap, processed food (usually sold in bulk), as this recent article from Newsweek outlines.
Speaking to the New York Times, one of the C.D.C.’s top diabetes researchers, Edward Gregg said;
“It seems pretty clear that incidence rates have now actually started to drop. Initially it was a little surprising because I had become so used to seeing increases everywhere we looked.”
The report goes on to state that:
There is growing evidence that eating habits, after decades of deterioration,have finally begun to improve. The amount of soda Americans drink has declined by about a quarter since the late 1990s, and the average number of daily calories children and adults consume also has fallen. Physical activityhas started to rise, and once-surging rates of obesity, a major driver of Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, have flattened. Type 1 diabetes, often diagnosed in childhood and adolescence and not usually associated with excess body weight, was also included in the data.
Hopefully this points towards a steady decline in the onslaught of junk food that has been pushed upon our children for decades. People are beginning to become more mindful about where their food comes from.
For a startling insight into the food industry, The Good News Planet recommends the eye-opening documentary Food Inc. With a few changes to your grocery basket, and your shopping habits, it is possible to change the way you live, consume and think about what you eat forever.
For case studies on the recent figures on Diabetes, read the full New York Times article.