China now has more people with diabetes or pre-diabetes than the entire population of the United States. The alarming news was published in the Wall Street Journal’s blog, China Realtime Report, quoting a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Even more troubling, it appears the life-threatening disease, or condition, presents (as doctors say) at a lower body mass index, or earlier onset, than in U.S. populations similarly afflicted.
This is not only troubling from a humanitarian perspective, but also suggests that China will have a major economic problem dealing with this. Already, 80% of the Chinese government’s health care spending goes to dealing with chronic diseases; diabetes is both a major chronic disease and a precursor of other such conditions, especially coronary diseases.
It sounds like China’s a good prospect for the Mediterranean diet. But no doubt, as in northern Europe and North America, healthy diets will be adopted by the wealthy and educated and the rest of the population will be left to stew in an industrially produced pot of fast food
There’s actually nothing at all wrong with a return to traditional Chinese diets with their Mediterranean-like emphasis on healthy vegetables, grains, and very little meat.
Maybe with a spoonful of olive oil to make it all go down?