Diabetes is an epidemic in the U.S., it's also on the rise around the world. That's according to Linda Siminerio, Director of the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute.
Siminerio says that's especially true for certain at-risk groups, including overweight and obese people; those who aren't physically active; certain ethnic groups; and women who had diabetes during pregnancy, or who had a baby more than nine pounds.
Siminerio says while Type 1 diabetes is often unavoidable, Type 2 diabetes can be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. She says that means a lack of physical activity and a poor diet.
Siminerio says diabetes is also occurring at younger ages. The Diabetes Institute Director says this is because children in the past were not exposed to as many unhealthy foods and activities. Siminerio says the rise of television, computers, and unhealthy food options in the past century has introduced a sedentary lifestyle that human genes weren't ready to adapt to.
Siminerio says parents can help their children and themselves avoid Type 2 diabetes by raising their children to live a healthy lifestyle. She says if these qualities are passed down through generations, rates of Type 2 diabetes should fall.