Type 2 Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States. In 2014, there were over 21 million diagnosed cases of diabetes with an estimated eight more million undiagnosed cases. The number of new diabetes diagnosis every year is alarming, but what is causing all of these new cases?
Lifestyle choices are one of the biggest factors in being diagnosed with diabetes. Many Americans are increasing their chance of becoming diabetic without even realizing it.
You can drastically reduce your chance of diabetes with these lifestyle changes:
1. Don't skip breakfast
After you take a shower, get dressed, get the kids ready for school, and put your shoes on, who has time for breakfast? According to the NPD Group, 31 million Americans are skipping breakfast every morning. But skipping breakfast could significantly increase your risk of becoming a type 2 diabetic.
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the eating habits of around 30,000 men and the effects of eating breakfast versus skipping it. The results from the study showed that after calculating men's age and weight, those who skipped breakfast were 25% more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than those that ate breakfast.
Tip: You don't have to sit down to a 3-course breakfast to reduce your chance of diabetes. Simply eating small amounts of food that are diabetes friendly before you rush out the door can do the trick. Grabbing a breakfast bar, piece of fruit, or eating a bowl of cereal could have a huge impact on your long-term health.
2. Stop being a night owl
All you night owls are at a higher chance of being a type 2 diabetic than those getting a full night of sleep.
Getting too little sleep can wreak havoc on your health. Less than 7-8 hours of sleep has been shown to impact negatively on blood sugar levels, and hormone levels in the body that can increase hunger. Not only do night owls tend to eat unhealthy foods, but they also tend to eat more food during the rest of the day.
Not only does poor sleep increase your chance of diabetes, but it also increases the chance of being obese or being diagnosed with cardiovascular complications.
Tip: Instead of staying awake all hours of the night, hit the hay early to make sure you get a full 8 hours of sleep. Getting the recommended rest every night will boost your metabolism, increase your energy, and increase your insulin resistance.
3. Stop binge watching TV
Television has changed the way Americans live. It has changed everything from sports, to the way we eat dinner. Families rarely sit around the dinner table and discuss their days; instead, they huddle around the television for hours to catch up on the latest sitcoms. The average American spends around 3 hours every day (some studies suggest as high as 5 hours) watching television. In fact, it's how 90% of Americans spend their leisure time. But all that time in front of the tube could be putting your health at risk.
While it's nice to unwind by binge watching your favorite TV show on Netflix, it's not the best option for your health. More than 2 hours of TV a day can increase your chance of type 2 diabetes by an average of 20%, according to a study completed by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Not only are those long hours watching TV bad for your health, but most people spending hours watching TV are also eating junk food, while enjoying their favorite show. Studies have shown a consistent link between Americans that watch several hours of TV every day and the amount of snack foods like chips, sodas, and candies.
Tip: Instead of coming home from work and cuddling on the couch, spend some time at the gym or going for a bike ride around your neighborhood. If you're going to watch TV, walk around your living room while you watch your favorite show.
Avoid the Risk
Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States and complications from the disease account for more than 70,000 deaths every year. Millions of Americans are making small choices every day that are putting them in danger of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
This is not only putting a strain on the health care system it puts a strain on an individual's wallet. With higher prices for health insurance, life insurance, and the cost of medication, people with diabetes experience higher costs than someone without the disease.
Instead of binge watching a whole season on Netflix until four a.m. while eating a carton of ice cream, go for a quick walk before bed and resist those late-night cravings. You will stay healthier, feel better, and have a greater chance of avoiding diabetes.