Teenagers in China are four times as likely to get diabetes than those from the United States. This was discovered by a study led by Barry Popkin, Ph.D., W.R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of nutrition at University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.
The researchers used data from the longest ongoing study of its kind in China, China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS). They analyzed data from over 29,000 people that were followed from 1989 to 2011 in 300 different communities in China.
While comparing data from the CHNS to the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) in the United States the researchers found the rates of diabetes were higher in the youth from China. Children aged 12-18 from China had a 1.9 percent compared to 0.5 percent of American children who had diabetes. They also found that 11 percent of Chinese children and 30 percent of Chinese adults are currently overweight.
“Those who are Asian, Native American, African American have more thrifty genes and are more likely to store fat. These populations come from ancestry that experienced bouts of famine and needed to store extra fat to survive,” said Sarah Kahn, Resident Pharmacist with Dietsinreview.com, in an email. “Fat around the abdomen is an indicator that could lead to diabetes.”
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