Top 10 Cities with High Levels of Diabetes
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Danger Zone - Top 10 Cities with Highest Levels of Diabetes

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January 30, 2012
By MINDY MIRACLE, Contributing Columnist

A recent report posted by the Public Broadcasting Service indicates that a lack of education puts people at a higher risk for developing type 2 Diabetes. The report highlights the 15 states involved in the Diabetes Belt - a string of states across the southeastern region of the United States where Diabetes is most prevalent within communities - and attributes the prevalence to a lack of education, poverty, an African American heritage, and to people whom are overweight / obese and lead a sedentary lifestyle. According to the Public Broadcasting Service, 12 percent of people living in the southeast region of the U.S. are Diabetic. Which cities have the highest rates of diabetes?  Where do most diabetics live? Where does your city rank in terms of diabetes risk?

Parts of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia comprise the so-called "Diabetes Belt". The belt also includes the entire state of Mississippi.

Recently, a southern belle icon known for her 'Butter Queen' status, and mouth-watering comfort foods revealed her type 2 Diabetes diagnoses. Celebrity chef Paula Deen was diagnosed in 2008 and just recently decided to come forward about her condition. Many of her fans were outraged at the idea of Deen hiding her disease because of the known link between diabetes and obesity, which her fatty comfort foods steadily promoted.

Diabetes in the United States is prevalent across the nation and is not just limited to the Diabetes Belt region. However, Diabetes News Hound released a list of the top 10 U.S. Cities with the highest levels of Diabetes cases which includes:

1.    Bangor, ME
2.    Myrtle Beach, SC
3.    Daytona Beach, FL
4.    Huntington, WV
5.    Ashland, KY
6.    Corpus Christi, TX
7.    Hagerstown, MD
8.    Kingsport, TN
9.    McAllen, TX
10.    Edinburg, TX

A 2011 analysis was conducted on over 200,000 people to identify methods to reduce the risk of developing type 2 Diabetes from The National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD. The analysis, led by Joe Balintfy, yielded five healthy lifestyle factors for people to follow to reduce their risks:

1.    Maintain an Optimum Body Weight.

2.    Eat a Healthy Low-Fat Diet.

3.    Follow Recommended Levels of Physical Activity.

4.    Don't Smoke, and

5.    Limit Alcohol Consumption to a Modest Level.

Each of the healthy lifestyles when combined together yielded an 80 percent reduction in risk. However, not being overweight or obese and maintaining an optimal body weight yielded the best result and is the most significant risk factor.

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Bangor, Maine has the highest rates of diabetes