WHO: Diabetes rises fourfold over last quarter-century

Woman getting her blood drawn for lab tests
In this Sunday, June 14, 2015, photo, a nurse takes blood from a patient at Jordan's National Center for Diabetes in Amman, Jordan. The center is particularly busy ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when diabetics seek advice on whether they can observe the sunrise-to-sundown Ramadan fast. (AP Photo/Khaled Al Odat)

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization says excessive weight, obesity, aging and population growth drove a nearly four-fold increase in worldwide cases of diabetes over the last quarter-century, affecting 422 million people in 2014.

The U.N. health agency is calling for stepped-up measures to reduce risk factors for diabetes and improve treatment and care.

On Wednesday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said: “We need to rethink our daily lives: to eat healthily, be physically active and avoid excessive weight gain.”

WHO reported that 8.5 percent of the world population had diabetes two years ago, up from 108 million, or 4.7 percent, in 1980.

The Geneva-based agency blamed the growing consumption of food and beverages high in sugar. Diabetes grew around the world, but increased most in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

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