South Asian Immigrants Have Highest Diabetes Rates

With obesity still on the rise across the nation, according to a new study carried out in New York City, Indian immigrants have the highest rate of diabetes.

The study took data from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the findings were that those from Southern Asia: Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan had double the rate of diabetes than other foreign-born Asians.

The study’s author, Leena Gupta from the NYC health department said that the outcome indicates that it is people with a normal BMI (body mass index) that are most prone to suffer with the disease, and that this suggests that the standard BMI recommendations are not good indicators of the risk of diabetes, particularly in the case of South Asians and who should be screened for diabetes, regardless of whether they are deemed overweight or not.

Standard BMI Chart

Standard BMI Chart

More than 54,000 people participated in the study that was carried out between 2002 and 2008, with the purpose being to see how diabetes affected different ethnic groups. Nine percent of those participating in the study said that they had been diagnosed with diabetes, and that the condition was generally more common in people born outside of the United States. 13.6% of foreign-born South Asians had diabetes, compared with 7.4% other Asians and 5.6% non-Hispanic whites born in the US. 14.4% of Hispanics born in the US had diabetes and 11.8% of non-Hispanic blacks born in the US suffered with the condition.

But it was once the researchers began to look at the BMI categories and comparing them to each other that they realised that it was South Asians born outside of the US that had the highest diabetes rates.

Also interesting:   What is Asperger's Syndrome?

The authors of the study have concluded that the standard BMI rate as used for Americans and Europeans is not effective for South Asians and that a South Asian-specific BMI needs to be established in order to effectively look at the risks of the condition.

Standard American diet

Standard American diet - Mmmmm injections. Yum.

There doesn’t appear to be any information about diet and whether the foreign-born South Asians (nor any of the other ethnic groups) embraced the standard American diet, or whether they continued to eat food types native to their countries of origin.

Great improvements in many health conditions can be enjoyed by eating a healthy organic plant-based diet and avoiding alcohol and other known destroyers of health.

If you would like to comment on this article, please use the comment box below:

 

Images: bbc.co.uk, ecosalon.com, betterfitnessdaily.com