Diabetes: A Modern Disease in Modern India

by Namita S on Feb 08, 2024

Diabetes: A Modern Disease in Modern India

Introduction to Diabetes:

In the rapidly changing landscape of modern India, the prevalence of diabetes has become a significant health concern. India is facing an escalating diabetes epidemic, with an estimated 8 crore adults living with diabetes as of 2021, accounting for about 9.3% of the adult population. 

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), India is projected to have over 13.5 crore adults with diabetes by 2045, making it the diabetes capital of the world. The prevalence of diabetes is notably high in urban areas, where approximately 11.2% of the population is affected.

There are a few reasons for the rise of diabetes in India:

1. Genetic Predisposition:

Genetics plays a role in diabetes risk, and studies suggest that South Asians, including Indians, have a higher genetic predisposition to diabetes. Indians tend to exhibit higher rates of insulin resistance, a key factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. 

2. Urbanization and Lifestyle Changes:

India has witnessed rapid urbanization, accompanied by significant lifestyle changes. Urban populations experience increased sedentary lifestyles, higher stress levels, and a shift towards processed and calorie-dense diets. These factors contribute to obesity, a well-established risk factor for diabetes. 

3. Dietary Shifts and High Caloric Intake:

Traditional Indian diets are diverse and rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. However, the modern diet has seen more and more processed foods, high in refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and unhealthy fats. This dietary shift, coupled with increased consumption of sugary beverages and snacks, has contributed to elevated blood sugar levels and obesity, escalating the risk of diabetes.

4. Sedentary Lifestyle:

Jobs that involve prolonged periods of sitting, coupled with limited opportunities for physical activity, contribute to weight gain and insulin resistance. Incorporating regular physical activity remains a challenge for many due to demanding work schedules.

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