The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that new diabetes cases have sharply increased over the last decade, particularly in southern states.
Many experts have suggested that the poor Western diet is to blame, along with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle.
The latest data finds that new diabetes cases increased from 4.8 per 1,000 people in the mid 1990s to 9.1 per 1,000 as of 2007. Minnesota had the lowest rate at 5 per 1,000 people, while West Virginia and Puerto Rico had the highest with a respective 12.7 and 12.8 per 1,000 people.
"We must step up efforts to prevent and control diabetes, particularly in the Southern U.S. region where we see higher rates of diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity," said Karen Kirtland, Ph.D., the lead author of the study.
Other states leading the way in age-adjusted new diabetes cases per 1,000 people included South Carolina (11.5), Arkansas (11.3), Georgia (11.2), and Texas (11.1). Idaho, Texas, and Florida all saw increases of over 200 percent in their age-adjusted diabetes rates. And even though Minnesota had the lowest rate of increase, the state still saw its figures go up by 67 percent over the last decade.
Other states with low diabetes rates per 1,000 include Hawaii (5.9), Wyoming (6.1), and Colorado (6.2).