Utah’s natural rate of physical activity, combined with the state’s low obesity rates explains why they rank the lowest for diabetes in the country, says the SL Trib.
Gallup Healthways Report Released
The new Gallup report released at the end of November discovered that Utah’s rate for diabetes was 7.4 percent for 2015. This was dramatically lower than the national average of 11.5 percent. Rhode Island and Colorado had impressive rates at 8 percent.
Missouri Ranks in the Top 10
The south did not fare well in the study. In fact, the Gallup and Healthways State of American Well-Being report found that Missouri’s diabetes rate was 13.5 percent; making them the ninth highest in the nation.
Out of the 190 metropolitan areas, St. Louis had the 75th largest diabetes rate of 12.3 percent, says CBS.
Diabetes is a Growing Concern in the United States
Diabetes is a growing concern for the United States. In fact, the same study found that the diabetes numbers are up from 10.6 percent in 2008 to 11.5 percent for 2015; despite public awareness of the dangers of diabetes and how to remain healthy, says The Guardian.
Risk factors for diabetes development include genetics, age, obesity, and lack of physical activity. The reason Utah has such a low diabetes diagnosis rate is because Utahns are active, younger, and less obese than the rest of the country.
When diabetes is not diagnosed, or managed properly, people may experience blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and other life-threatening complications.
Obesity Rate Increases, So Does Threat of Diabetes
The obesity rate for the United States has increased by three points since 2008, which means the rate rests at 28.3 percent nationally. The increased obesity numbers mean there is a risk for more diabetes diagnosis. Obesity is a key factor in what makes patients develop Type 2 Diabetes.
It should be noted, however, that not all people with diabetes are overweight or obese. And, not all obese people develop Type 2 Diabetes. Research shows that middle-aged Americans that are obese and have not been diagnosed with diabetes.
Utah Offers Diabetes Education and Testing
Another reason Utah may have low diabetes diagnosis rates is that the state offers a free diabetes as well as pre-diabetes classes to educate Utahns about the risks of becoming overweight or improper dietary management. They also help those diagnosed with diabetes better manage their disease so that it remains under control and does not threaten their life.
Utah also has seen a decrease in their own obesity rate, going from 25.7 percent in 2014 to 24.5 percent in 2015.
Utah is one of the only seven areas with an obesity rate resting between 20 and 25. The other states that join Utah include California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, and Washington, D.C.
Researchers feel that education is the first step for consumers understanding their risks, and those with a risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes should manage their health and work toward reducing their risk.