Alabama has one of the worst rates of diabetes in the nation. Harvard doctor Osama Hamdy says the rate of diabetes has increased 82 percent in the nation over the last 15 years. And Alabama has seen an increase of about 140 percent. Hamdy says one key to battling the problem is tackling its chief driver: obesity. The other is increased activity.
Osama Hamdy: “Activity can be as simple as 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch, 10 minutes in the evening… flexibility, aerobic and strength exercise, and this will help a lot. People underestimate how little physical activity can actually help people with diabetes, but the reality, it does help a lot.”
2010 figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show about 11 percent of adult Alabamians were diagnosed with diabetes. The figure was second highest just below Mississippi. Hamdy says many factors contribute but one thing is clear.
Hamdy: “Obesity is the core of the problem. Treatment of diabetes will not start by medication. Treatment of diabetes will start by weight loss. And we have seen that in our research, 7 percent only weight loss can lead to marked improvement in diabetes. If it is done early, it is even better.”
Hamdy says rates of diabetes are high in the south due to lack of physical activity, a large population of minorities, and all that good southern cookin’.
You can find more about Dr. Osama Hamdy and his book "The Diabetes Breakthrough" at thediabetesbreakthrough.com