Lifestyle, Diet and Diabetes Risk
September 11, 2011 by Robert Wascher
Filed under Cancer, Cancer Prevention, Kidney Disease, Metabolic Syndrome, Nutrition, Peripheral Vascular Disease, Risk of Death, Weekly Health Update, Weight Loss, alcohol, cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, diet, exercise, health, heart attack, heart disease, hyperglycemia, obesity, smoking, stroke, tobacco
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New research reveals the profound impact of diet, obesity, and lifestyle factors on diabetes risk.
LIFESTYLE, DIET AND DIABETES RISK
Along with the incidence of obesity, the incidence of diabetes has recently skyrocketed in the United States and around the world. The list of health complications associated with diabetes is frightening, and includes heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, kidney failure, progressive blindness, and as I discuss in my book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, an increased risk of cancer.
Now, a newly published clinical research study, which included more than 200,000 adult volunteers, sheds important light on the major lifestyle-associated risk factors for this life-threatening disease. Nearly 2 million adults will be newly diagnosed with diabetes this year in the United States, and nearly 80 million Americans are currently living with diabetes at this time. In fact, diabetes has become such a serious public health problem that it is now considered the seventh leading cause of death in the United States!
This newly published prospective public health study appears in the current issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, and was sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Cancer Institute, as part of the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study.
A total of 114, 996 men and 92,483 women, aged 50 to 71 years, participated in this public health study; and this huge group of research volunteers was closely followed for an average of 10 years. Importantly, none of these research volunteers had diabetes, heart disease, or cancer at the time they initially joined this research study.
After evaluating diet, level of physical activity, smoking status, and alcohol intake, this enormous group of research volunteers was assessed for the risk of onset of diabetes according to these lifestyle factors. Altogether, about 10 percent of the men and 8 percent of the women went on to develop diabetes during the 10-year course of this public health study. When compared to men who ate poorly and did not exercise, and who also smoked and regularly consumed alcohol, the men who had very healthy behaviors in these same areas had a 39 percent lower risk of developing diabetes, while the women with healthy lifestyle behaviors experienced a 57 percent lower risk of diabetes when compared to the women with unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. Even more impressive was the additive role of obesity on diabetes risk. When all of the previously mentioned healthy lifestyle behaviors were combined with the absence of being overweight or obese, men experienced a whopping 72 percent decrease in the risk of diabetes, while women experienced an extraordinary 84 percent reduction in the risk of developing diabetes. Importantly, these dramatic reductions in the risk of diabetes were maintained even among the men and women who had a family history of diabetes or obesity.
This huge prospective public health study adds important and helpful information to our understanding regarding the most important risk factors for diabetes, and reveals just how important eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, abstaining from tobacco use, and minimizing alcohol intake are to the prevention of diabetes. Other large public health studies have also conclusively linked these healthy lifestyle-associated behaviors with a significant reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease (including heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, and stroke) and cancer, as well!
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For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!
On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com “Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!
Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity
Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author
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