According to a new report released by the New York City Health Department over the past ten years, the number of New Yorkers with type 2 diabetes has increased from eight percent to about 11 percent. This number is higher than the national average of 9.5 percent. That comes out to about one in nine New Yorkers, totaling 667,000 adults. Furthermore, about 6000 people die from type 2 diabetes each year, making it the number two killer after smoking.
Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, says that Hispanics and African Americans are among the hardest hit by the disease. He adds that most of the patients he treats are not diagnosed until late in the game. And although lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise are recommended as a first step in treatment, most of his patients also require multiple medications to keep their diabetes under control.
This report was released, coincidentally, at the same time that a New York court ruled Mayor Bloomberg s soda ban unconstitutional. New York Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, says that that fight is not over and the health department intends to continue to try to secure the ban.
In response to that statement, ACSH s Ariel Savransky says, As scary as these statistics are, the answer is not going to be a ban on super-sized sugary drinks. Although diabetes and obesity are linked, as we said yesterday, a soda ban is not going to solve the obesity epidemic.