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City Health Commissioner Links Diabetes Growth To Obesity

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TWC News: City Health Commissioner Links Diabetes Growth To Obesity
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The city released an alarming new report on the rising number of New Yorkers with diabetes, for which another growing problem is being blamed. NY1's Erin Billups filed the following report.

City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said Wednesday that a rise of 33 percent in the number of adults in the city with Type 2 diabetes from 2002 to 2012 is "totally being driven by the obesity epidemic."

Those people have a growing risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, nerve damage and amputations.

"We estimate now that there are 670,000 New York City adults who know that they have diabetes," Farley said. "That's 200,000 more than where we were 10 years ago."

Almost half of that increase, 15 percent, came in just the past two years, according to data in the the city's most recent Community Health Survey.

Almost one in every nine New Yorkers, 10.7 percent, has the disease, which is higher than the national average of 9.5 percent.

"Diabetes is far more common in people who are minorities, and we have more minority populations in New York City than the U.S. as a whole," Farley said. "African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, about twice as likely to have diabetes as whites."

The latest diabetes revelation comes a day after a State Appeals Court upheld an earlier ruling blocking the city's cap on large sugary drinks.

At a roundtable discussion hosted by CNN's Sanjay Gupta, Farley said the city plans to appeal that ruling.

"We're going to continue to work in every other way that we can to try to slow or reverse the obesity epidemic," he said. "In particular, getting people to drink fewer sugary drinks. We have messages on the subway and messages on the television here in New York City."

Farley said that among those surveyed, they're already seeing a slight decline in the number of adults drinking sugary beverages. He insisted that the ban would help combat the rise in diabetes cases if it were in place.

"Each year, New Yorkers as an entire city's population gain about 7.5 million pounds," Farley said. "If the sugary drink portion cap went through, that would probably reduce that by about a third."

Ultimately, the key to shrinking waistlines and diabetes numbers is hard to legislate or mandate. It requires a change in lifestyle focused on a healthy diet and regular exercise. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP