Woah - a billion people will be obese by 2025? That's only ten years off! AND a new study estimates that 592 million people will have diabetes – mainly type 2 - by 2035. Those are some pretty shocking stats in time for World Diabetes Day.
The University of East Anglia estimate that, in 2013, 382 million people suffered from diabetes, but by 2035, if nothing changes, that'll be 592 million. The International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) reckons it'll be 640 million by 2040.
They indicate that, as a species, our health is in decline. You'd think with all of our health advances such as penicillin and cancer treatments we'd be getting healthier. But it seems bad eating habits and sitting on our backsides all the time is badly affecting us - could obesity and type 2 diabetes be classed as epidemics? Some researchers think so.
Researchers believe that in Britain diabetics lose out on an average £887 per year, with their carers losing £1327. Approximately 3.2 million Brits have diabetes. Diabetes means poor health, less personal income and less economic productivity. We're fatter, poorer and more medication-dependant that ever before, and it's only getting worse. Well done us for wiping out our predator populations, otherwise they'd be hunting us down as easy dinner targets.
Type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing in fast-developing counties such as India and China where 10% of the population has diabetes compared to a global 8.2%. This may be due to their more recent introduction to internet-based everything and fast-food with all its glossy advertising.
The human race needs to change the way it lives and pronto. Some cases of type 2 diabetes are due to genetics but it's thought 90% are caused by bad habits. Our burger-filled nosedive into diabetes was identified by the World Health Organisation in 2011. They have tried to halt our increasingly vast appetites and lounge-lizard habits, but it's not worked. We continue to spiral out of control.
The IDF states that diabetes accounts for 12% of global health expenditure. When you think about all the illnesses there are in the world, 12% on one in particular is shocking.
In the UK our NHS is already held together with Sellotape and half-chewed toffees. A rapidly increasing diabetic population may just burst its seams. We either pay more or we get healthier - the NHS won't cope in its current form.
So it seems we are literally eating and sitting ourselves to death. Sadly I don't think the human race will take much notice of these statistics. It's a huge hurdle for our health services to overcome and what makes it sad – as well as ridiculous, unfair and unbelievable - is that it's preventable. Personally I think schools are the way to go with healthy living habits. Never mind Pythagoras Theorem, how about gardening, cooking and exercising classes?
If children can learn to read, they can learn to eat properly. Perhaps we're only a generation away from bringing those statistics down.