Thursday, September 19, 2013

Millions at Risk as China's Prosperity Brings Diabetes Epidemic

Olivia Simpson

Twelve percent of adults in China are suffering from Diabetes and most of them are unaware they have it. The Journal of the American Medical Association has just published results of a survey for diabetes conducted in China in 2010, revealing a shocking prevalence of the obesity-linked type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney failure. Almost one in three of the world’s diabetes sufferers are in China. Because of the rising prosperity in China, Chinese people are transitioning into less healthy eating habits. The researchers warn that this could get worse in China and that, without an effective national intervention, China could face “a major epidemic of diabetes-related complications” including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and chronic kidney disease.

            From reading this article, it’s easy to see how our American habits have so quickly spread to other countries. With globalization and expansion of industries (including fast-food restaurants), we’re seeing a lot of influence on health practices and diet habits. I think the biggest issue here is that the people of China, just like the people of America, are just consuming too much unhealthy food as a result of their changing lifestyles. This is where global health comes in to play in working to create a health-promoting environment that encourages self-management and better public health services. If the right measures are taken, I think that this problem in China –as well as in the U.S. - can be fixed. It’s interesting to me how rapidly China is assimilating and becoming more like America. I was a little shocked to read about this but it actually does not surprise me given how involved China and America have become. I hope that this diabetes epidemic can be helped because I’d hate to see another country with the same health problems we have.

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