Type 2 diabetes is an epidemic in the US and all over the world.
About 24 million Americans have diabetes—that’s about 8% of the population. About a third of these, 5.7 million people, are undiagnosed. No fewer than 57 million people are thought to be prediabetic. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death listed on death certificates in the US (although that’s probably an underestimate). Experts believe that diagnosed diabetes will increase 165% by 2050. That means that one in three people born in 2000 will be affected by the disease. Alarmingly, children account for 20% of all new cases. Type 2 diabetes has also become a global epidemic. The World Health Organization estimates that over 220 million people around the world have type 2 diabetes (90% of people with diabetes worldwide), and it is among the top five causes of death in most developed countries.
What’s worse, the World Health Organization predicts that the number of cases of diabetes is very likely going to increase dramatically—to over 360 million by 2030. Deaths due to diabetes will increase by over 50% in the next 10 years unless serious and immediate steps are taken.
The economic cost of diabetes is enormous, not just to the individual, but to society as well. In the US, the total costs (direct and indirect) of diabetes in 2007 were estimated to be $174 billion.