Over 100 million individuals, living in China, suffer with diabetes (almost 13% of the entire population), and it’s growing at an alarming rate. Almost 600 million native born Chinese people will suffer from pre-diabetes. When pre-diabetes is not effectively treated, it can (and will) lead to Type Two diabetes.
These numbers reflect an “epidemic”, and China is more susceptible than the United States and other developed nations, to a diabetic outbreak that will be out of control.
Mainland China has a few unique challenges to deal with, when it comes to Type 2 diabetes. The first is the fact that the Chinese seem to contract diabetes more easily and frequently, than other individuals. According to extensive research, East Asians, have a tendency to accumulate belly fat (which is a major risk factor of Type 2 diabetes).
Another major risk factor of Type 2 diabetes; is a sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary habits. According to studies conducted, less than 12% of Chinese adults exercise on a regular basis. Also, men of Chinese decent that acquired a vehicle; also added 4 to 5 pounds to their waistline, when compared to men who did not have access to an automobile.
Dietary choices are also a main contributing factor to Type 2 diabetes. Refined grain, sugar-laced beverages, red meats and unhealthy fats can also be contributing factors to pre-diabetes that will lead to Type 2 diabetes.
The current health care system in China is also becoming a hindrance, to controlling Type 2 diabetes in their citizens. Currently, they are having a difficult time providing the tens of millions of diabetics with affordable medication and proper treatment. In the last four years, China has made a financial investment of $350 billion plus dollars into their health care system, which includes expanded insurance coverage to those in need.
Currently, China focuses on managing complications associated with diabetes and end of life care.