The Asheville, NC region has a reputation in the Southeast as a progressive community, open to many forms of alternative healthcare including Chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine and various forms of body work, to name a few. As with many of the communities in the Southeast, there is no shortage of health concerns and one of the primary concerns seen in Asheville and the surrounding areas is Diabetes Mellitus (Type II). One of the biggest contributing factors to the development of Type II Diabetes is the presence of obesity, which is also a community health concern in this area.
Recent obesity statistics in North Carolina reports that approximately two-thirds of adults are obese in this state. An even more concerning statistic is that NC currently ranks fifth in the nation in prevalence of childhood obesity, meaning that there is an almost certain likelihood of increasing numbers of children and adults developing Type II Diabetes. Buncombe County, where Asheville is located, does have a slightly lower incidence of obesity, with 22.8-25 percent of the population being listed as obese, which is still almost 1 in every 4 residents. Obesity is measured using the BMI scale, and in order to be classified as obese, a person must have a BMI of 30 or higher.
To simply define Type II Diabetes, it is an abnormally high amount of glucose in the blood stream that comes from an inability of the body to produce an adequate amount of insulin to regulate glucose coming into the body. Adult Onset Diabetes is a current health concern and in 2014 it was reported that 29.1 million Americans suffer from the disease. This is 9.3 percent of the population. The highest percentage of those suffering from the disease are males over 65 years old, but there is a growing number of younger people developing Type II diabetes. The most recent statistics for Asheville, NC and Buncombe County is 8.5 to 9 percent of the population, which rates in the lower portion of those in North Carolina, yet still represents a large number of the population. Despite somewhat lower rates of diabetes at the state level, this area continues to follow the current national trend of increasing occurrence on a yearly basis, as evidenced by reports that between the years of 2005 and 2009 there was a state-wide increase in Diabetes of 16.9 percent.
So what does it all mean? Type II Diabetes and obesity are two conditions that are easily controlled with diet and exercise. Talk to your trusted healthcare provider about simply ways to improve your diet and fuel your body with the nutrients that it needs to function at its best. Talk with a Certified Fitness Trainer regarding simply exercise programs that can get you out, and get you moving and help to lose excess body weight. Feel free to contact us for exercise training assistance!
Dr. Christopher Weaver DC, PAK is a Doctor of Chiropractic and Professional Applied Kinesiologist. He's published two books on health and Wellness.