Is Diabetes and Obesity on the Rise Among Young Peoples?

Obesity, diabetes and other public health problems are of great concern today.

The two conditions are closely related to lifestyle factors that can be modified. They can often be prevented with changes in diet and exercise levels.

Obesity and diabetes rates continue to increase, particularly among youth, despite efforts to reduce these conditions.

Growing Rates of Obesity & Diabetes

According to the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, between 2009 and 2017, obesity rates among 20-44 year olds increased from 32.7% to 40.9% .

Between 2003 and 2005, the prevalence of diabetes increased from 3.0% up to 4.1%.

This may appear to be a slight increase but this analysis shows the trend continues and could even accelerate, since these numbers are likely to have increased even more since then. The NHANES study was suspended temporarily during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Therefore, the data for this study is only up to March 2020.

Causes of rising rates

The rise of obesity and diabetes in young people can be attributed to several factors. The availability and consumption rate of high-calorie and low-nutrient food and beverages is one of the major factors.

Fast foods, processed foods, sugary drinks and snacks are often advertised to young people. Their consumption has been associated with increased weight and diabetes .

Sedentary lifestyles and excessive screen time are increasing among youth and associated with obesity and diabetes.

Impact of Health and Well-being

Obesity or diabetes can be serious, especially when they occur at a young stage. Both conditions can increase your risk of many health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, strokes, kidney disease and certain types cancer.

Obesity and diabetes may also have an impact on a person’s mental well-being. These conditions are linked to an increased risk for depression, anxiety and a poor quality of living.


It is important to prevent obesity and diabetes in young people. There are many strategies to help manage and prevent these conditions.

Prevention and treatment of diabetes and obesity in young people require a multifaceted approach, which addresses lifestyle factors as well as underlying genetic factors and environmental factors.

Some of the strategies that have proven to be effective are:

  • Promoting physical activities through school-based programmes and community initiatives
  • Encourage healthy eating habits such as increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, and reducing sugary drinks and snacks
  • Increased access to healthcare including regular screenings of diabetes and obesity
  • Supporting and educating families on healthy lifestyles
  • Further research is needed to understand the causes of obesity and diabetes in young people

If we do not take significant steps to manage and prevent these conditions, this worrying trend will continue.

The causes of the rising rates of obesity are complex and multifaceted. However, they are mostly related to unhealthy lifestyles such as poor nutrition and lack of exercise.

Obesity and diabetes can have serious consequences on both mental and physical health and even reduce lifespan. It is therefore important that individuals, families and communities work together in order to prevent obesity and diabetes.