Americans might struggle with their high-sugar diets, but the United States isn’t even among the 50 worst countries for diabetes, according to the data.
And although Britons have a notoriously sweet tooth, the UK does not rank among the 100 worst countries when it comes to disease rates.
Figures compiled by Our world in datausing data from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), analyzed the percentage of people with diabetes aged 20-79 in 211 countries.
Pakistan tops the list, with around 31% of the population affected by the disease, followed by French Polynesia, a group of islands in the South Pacific (25.2%) and Kuwait (24.9%).
The organization Our World in Data, using figures from the International Diabetes Federation, ranked Pakistan as the country with the highest rate of diabetes in the world. Meanwhile, the US and UK ranked 59 and 136 respectively.
Research showed that people in Pakistan and other countries in the Middle East and South Asian regions are genetically more resistant to insulin, which increases the likelihood of developing the disease.
A traditional Pakistani is also rich in
The United States, meanwhile, ranks 59th on the scale, with one in 10 diabetics in the country. The UK fell even lower, to 136, with a diabetes rate of 6%.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the way the body converts food into energy. Normally, the body breaks down food into glucose, a type of sugar, and releases it into the bloodstream. This raises blood sugar, which triggers the release of insulin from the pancreas.
However, in the case of diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin, which causes too much blood sugar to remain in the blood.
In 2021, 537 million adults worldwide had diabetes, according to the IDF. This rate represents an increase of 16% (74 million) compared to 2019.
Globally, more than 90% of people with diabetes have type 2, which develops due to obesity, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and family history.
The IDF estimates that one in ten adults worldwide is currently living with diabetes. The total number is expected to reach 643 million (11%) by 2030 and 783 million (12.2%) by 2045.
According to World Health Organizationdiabetes was the leading cause of death in 2019, killing 1.5 million.
In Pakistan, diabetes rates are skyrocketing. In 2021, 33 million Pakistani adults were living with diabetes, a 70% increase since 2019, according to IDF. Today, 31% of adults aged 20 to 79 have the disease.
Diabetes rate in Pakistan has skyrocketed in recent years, according to a study published in the Annals of Medicine and Surgery
The IDF estimates that diabetes caused more than 400,000 deaths in 2021. More than a quarter of adults with the disease in Pakistan are undiagnosed.
Besides genetic predisposition, a 2022 study in the journal Annals of Medicine and Surgery attributed the rise to the scarcity of health services in the country, especially in rural areas.
Besides, research showed that just over a quarter of Pakistani adults are very physically active and that diabetes rates are higher in urban Pakistan than in rural areas.
Meanwhile, in the United States, which ranks 59th out of 211 countries, one in 10 adults has diabetes, according to IDF data.
THE Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 28.7 million people have diagnosed diabetes, while 8.5 million are undiagnosed.
In addition, 40%, or 96 million people over the age of 18, have prediabetes, making them much more likely to develop the disease. Weight is one of the biggest factors in diabetes rates in the United States.
A study published last year in the Journal of the American Heart Associationfor example, found that obesity is linked to 30-53% of new cases of diabetes in the United States each year.
The CDC estimates that four out of 10 Americans are obese, and the rate is climbing. Between March 2020 and March 2021, for example, the number increased by 3%. Dietary factors could be at play.
The American diet is high in processed foods, which have been shown to have adverse health consequences.
A 2022 A study by the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University estimated that 73% of the US food supply is ultra-processed.
And a study published in Nutrition Frontiers found that more than 60% of US calorie intake comes from these foods.
A global comparison study published in Obesity Reviews showed that increased per capita sales of ultra-processed foods and beverages were associated with higher body mass index (BMI).
Sugar and salt are other staple foods that can increase the risk of diabetes.
A review published last month in the journal BMJfor example, linked high intake of added sugars to 45 negative health effects.
These include diabetes, gout, obesity, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, asthma, tooth decay, depression, and premature death.
Moreover, the CDC estimates that more than 90% of Americans consume too much salt – 3,400 milligrams on average.
THE Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults limit their sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day, which is equivalent to about 1 teaspoon of table salt.
One of the biggest offenders is fast food – an American staple. About 70% of the sodium consumed comes from processed products.
Americans are also prone to sedentary lifestyles. According to the American Heart Association, jobs that involve long periods of sitting have increased by 83% since 1950, and physically demanding jobs occupy less than 20% of the workforce.
A 2015 review in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that even after adjusting for physical activity, sitting for long periods was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
The Mayo Clinic has warned that sitting for an extended period each day can cause many of the same issues and lead to the development of dangerous visceral fat in the midsection.
The UK ranks significantly lower than the US, at 136 out of 211.
Diabetes United Kingdom estimates that more than 4.3 million people in the country are living with diabetes and 2.4 million are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The organization also says that 850,000 people in the UK are living with the disease but do not don’t know.
About 90% of these cases are type 2 diabetes.
As in the United States, weight is one of the main risk factors for developing the disease.
THE Health Survey for England 2021 found that 64% of people aged 45 to 74 in the country are overweight or obese. The same data showed that 28% of people were considered obese. This figure rose from 15% in 1993.
Dietary factors, such as salt and sugar intake, could also be attributed to these levels.
According to this graph from the Library of the House of Commons, which uses data from the Health Survey for England 2021, obesity rates are steadily rising in England
THE British Heart Foundation estimates that adults in England consume about 8,400 milligrams of salt daily, nearly two and a half times that of the United States. That’s 40 percent of the country’s national guideline of 6,000 milligrams.
About 85% of this salt is already in purchased foods rather than being added during cooking, according to Public Health England.
The UK’s rate is comparable to that of Japan, which has an obesity rate of just 6.6%.
The traditional Japanese diet has been shown to reduce the likelihood of type 2 diabetes, as well as other chronic conditions such as heart disease. The diet is high in minimally processed, low-sugar foods, such as fish, seaweed, green tea, soy, fruits, and vegetables.
In a six week study of 33 men following a traditional Japanese diet, 91% had significantly fewer risk factors for type 2 diabetes, including excess weight and high LDL (bad) cholesterol.
The country with the lowest rate of diabetes is Benin, a country in West Africa, in which only 1% of the population has the disease.
This could be due to the demographics of the country.
According to world food program.
Over 70% of the population works in agriculture, making them less sedentary than adults in the US or UK.