Countries With the Highest Diabetes Rates: America’s Position Will Surprise You

Americans are given a hard time for their high-sugar diets, but recent data shows that the United States isn’t even in the top 50 worst countries for diabetes. Figures compiled by Our World in Data, using data from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), analyzed the percentage of diabetic people between the ages of 20 and 79 in 211 countries. Pakistan topped the list, with about 31% of the population having the condition, followed by French Polynesia at 25.2% and Kuwait at 24.9%. Despite a diet rich in whole grains, yogurt, fruit and vegetables, research has shown that people in Pakistan and other countries across the Middle East and Asia are genetically more resistant to insulin, which increases the likelihood of developing diabetes. Meanwhile, the United States ranked 59 on the scale, with 1 in every 10 people having diabetes. The CDC estimates that 28.7 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with diabetes, while 8.5 million are undiagnosed. In addition, 40% of Americans over the age of 18 have prediabetes. To reverse this trend, people will need to toss the table sugar, swap out the soda, cut down on servings, and come up with some less sugary alternatives.