Why are most Chinese people heading towards diabetes?

A thin man in China

A thin man in China

China is heading towards a diabetes disaster, that could bankrupt the whole health care system, according to a new study that was recently published.

Twelve percent of adult Chinese are already diabetic and an additional 50 percent are pre-diabetic, a state that is a precursor to diabetes where blood sugar levels are abnormally elevated.

In other words: Six out of ten Chinese have, or are about to get, diabetes! This is surprising given that Chinese people on average are not nearly as overweight as Westerners. But a closer look explains the problem.

In China it’s culturally quite OK for men to roll up their shirts, exposing the tummy, when it’s hot. Here are thirty examples:

BuzzFeed: 30 Chinese Men Beating the Heat

Something’s different. If you were to put these thirty men on a scale, most of them would with good margin end up of normal weight, according to BMI. But only a few have a slim waistline.

Chinese people, like many Asian peoples, generally have genes that predispose them to having beginning obesity show only at the waistline. Behind their often still “normal” weight, according to Western standards, more and more metabolic problems lurk. Incipient abdominal obesity, fatty liver, hypertension, abnormal cholesterol numbers… and for many also abnormally sweet blood (diabetes).

By all accounts Asians seem to be more sensitive to modern junk food with lots of sugar in it than Westerners are. The disaster will be felt even more in Asia.

Do You Have a Normal Blood Sugar?

If you are a little round around the middle you too may be at risk of type 2 diabetes. Want to check your blood sugar? You can do this with your primary physician. You can also test it at home yourself.


Surprise: More Sugar, More Diabetes

Dr. Attia at TEDMED: What if We’re Wrong About Diabetes?

Failed Attempt to Cure Diabetes at Subway

Older posts