Nationwide lifestyle changes may be necessary for people with pre-diabetes to avoid type 2 diabetes

News headlines have highlighted the growing number of Americans who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. However, what some people may not realize is that there are millions of individuals living in the U.S. who have pre-diabetes.

Unless a significant proportion of these people with pre-diabetes make healthy lifestyle changes, it may be likely that they will cause the prevalence of type 2 diabetes to double or even triple over the next decade, according to a recent article published by the DesMoines Register.

Robert S. Bar, MD, professor emeritus in the department of internal medicine at the University of Iowa's College of Medicine, told the newspaper the high rate of transition from individuals who have pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes is a nationwide issue.

He recommended that all overweight or obese Americans receive diabetes screenings. However, he noted that it is unlikely that all physicians have the financial resources to conduct these tests and provide effective treatment for all of their patients.

Another roadblock standing in the way of helping people with pre-diabetes reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes is food trends.

The health experts told the news provider that while nutritious options are becoming more expensive, high-fat foods sold by drive-through restaurants are cheap and easily accessible.

Bar also said that sedentary lifestyles are not only limiting the amount of exercise that Americans engage in, but they are also contributing to higher calorie intake. This is because many people tend to consume extra calories from snacking while working on their computers or playing video games.

The World Diabetes Foundation states that type 2 diabetes may be prevented or delayed by consuming a low-fat diet and high-fiber foods. However, diabetes prevention should also include avoiding certain unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking and a stressful lifestyle.