As reported in the New York Times earlier this year, leaders of a province of Vanuatu, a Pacific island nation in a region beset with high rates of obesity and diabetes, planned to ban imported food at government functions and tourist establishments. They did so because imported food in Vanuatu is often junk food that contributes to obesity. That is one small step toward addressing a worldwide health issue.
Obesity has been rising globally for decades — to the point where there are now more people worldwide who are obese than underweight. With this trend has come an increase in diseases to which obesity contributes, including type 2 diabetes, which now afflicts 415 million adults worldwide.
Once largely restricted to adults, type 2 diabetes has increasingly been diagnosed in children, adolescents and young adults in many parts of the world. Drawing on our FAIR Health database of billions of private healthcare claims, we released a white paper this year on the scope of the problem of obesity and type 2 diabetes in young people in the United States.