Diabetes Rate Surprisingly Drops in U.S.

Bucking a long trend of relentless rises, the number of new cases of diabetes in the United States has finally started to dip.

And the rate of decline is more significant than experts expected.

New cases fell by about 20 percent from 2008 to 2014, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It marks the first sustained decline since the disease started to explode in this country about 25 years ago.

“It seems pretty clear that incidence rates have now actually started to drop,” said Edward Gregg, one of the CDC’s top diabetes researchers. “Initially it was a little surprising because I had become so used to seeing increases everywhere we looked.”

Why the drop?

First, there's growing evidence that U.S. eating habits have finally begun to improve. The amount of soda Americans drink has declined by about a quarter since the late 1990s, and the average number of daily calories children and adults consume has fallen as well.

Physical activity has also started to rise, and once-surging rates of obesity, a major driver of Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, have flattened.

But before you pop the champagne corks, keep in mind that the percentage of Americans with diabetes today is still more than double what it was in the early 1990s.

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Sourced from: New York Times, New Diabetes Cases, at Long Last, Begin to Fall in the United States