ABC News - Monday 15 May, 2006

Australia in grip of diabetes epidemic: study


Researchers say Australia is suffering from a diabetes epidemic, with 100,000 new cases every year.

A new study has also found the illness is caused by lifestyle factors like obesity and poor diet, and is costing taxpayers $3 billion every year.

The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study tested and interviewed 11,000 people five years ago to provide a snapshot of the nation's health.

Seven thousand people have been checked again to determine how many new cases of diabetes occur every year.

Associate Professor Jonathan Shaw says the statistics are alarming.

"Approximately 270 to 280 new cases are developing every day throughout Australia," he said.

"We've seen that people's waistlines and weight are increasing and in particular, the greatest in obesity are seen in younger adults rather than older adults."

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