In an article published on June 8, 2015 in the New York Times journalist Sabrina Tavernise reports on a new study showing that the global diabetes rate has increased significantly over the past twenty years along with the worldwide spread of obesity. The study was published on June 7, 2015 in the British medical journal The Lancet and is the largest analysis of global disability data to date. Tavernise highlights that the worldwide prevalence of diabetes has increased by 45% from 1990 to 2013. This rise is mostly attributed to Type 2 diabetes, which is associated with obesity and is the most common form of the disease, Tavernise explains. The rising prevalence of diabetes and obesity has been observed in industrialized countries for several decades. More recently, developing countries are following the trend. This is linked to economic improvement and longer life expectancy in developing countries, Tavernise writes. The countries with the largest rise in diabetes rates over the period from 1990 to 2013 are the United States of America (71%), Saudi Arabia (60%), China (56%) and Mexico (52%). Theo Vos, Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington, points out that that while the prevalence of diabetes has significantly increased, death rates from the disease have declined considerably. This is because medical systems have improved managing the health complications associated with diabetes, according to Vos.

In January 2013 New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote an article about the potential role of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in increasing obesity rates around the world (FPF reported). A recently published study by Health Canada showed that the human detoxification product of the EDC bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) is a potential obesogen (FPF reported). A further study by researcher Angel Nadal and colleagues showed that BPA may increase susceptibility to diabetes (FPF reported).

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Sabrina Tavernise (June 8, 2015). “Global diabetes rates are rising as obesity spreads.The New York Times


Vos, T. et al. (2015). “Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.The Lancet (published online June 7, 2015)