Alabama has one of the worst rates of diabetes in the nation. Harvard doctor Osama Hamdy says the rate of diabetes has increased 82 percent in the nation over the last 15 years. And Alabama has seen an increase of about 140 percent. Hamdy says one key to battling the problem is tackling its chief driver: obesity. The other is increased activity.
The nation's diabetes problem is getting worse, and health officials say the biggest changes have been in Oklahoma and a number of Southern states.
The diabetes rate in Oklahoma more than tripled over 15 years, and also boomed in Southern states like Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama.
Most cases are the kind of diabetes linked to obesity. Health officials believe extra weight explains the increases in the South and Southwest. They also say the rates overall are up because people with diabetes are living longer.