Category Archives: Global Warming and Diabetes

Diabetes Epidemic Grows as Global Temperatures Rise

Global Warming Linked to Diabetes Epidemic: Reduction in Brown Fat Activity Blamed in Study

Significant increases in glucose intolerance leading to a diabetes epidemic is correlated to global warming according to a new research paper. Global warming causing decreased brown adipose tissue activity is leading to increasing cases of diabetes: a metabolic disease that results from the body becoming glucose intolerant.1)

Analyzing years of worldwide data showing climate change and the number of diabetes cases, scientists have seen a strong link between the number of cases of diabetes diagnosed each time average temperatures increased by 1 degree. Based on prior studies of brown fat activation showing exposure to mild cold is a potential therapy for diabetes, researchers concluded that: “[O]ur data are consistent with the hypothesis that a decrease in BAT activity with increas- ing environmental temperature may deteriorate glucose metabolism and increase the incidence of diabetes.”

Obesity, a factor in the cause of type 2 diabetes,  also rose in relation to increases in temperature with a 0.173% increase in obesity cases with each single degree of temperature increase. Diabetes, related to the body’s increased resistance to insulin, grew by 3.1% per 10,000 people each time the climate warmed by 1 degree celsius. Data was drawn from sources covering the years 1996 through 2013. 

diabetes epidemic, cooling vest weight loss

Mean annual temperature and diabetes cases per degree of temperature increase by state.

Just published this week, the detailed study is getting major media attention as the world struggles with the major health challenge of the diabetes epidemic and rise in obesity with all kinds of bad implications for metabolic health. Newsweek has provided the best easy to read summary of the research paper.

Solutions are coming to market. Hyperwear has patented a cooling vest that can be worn to activate brown fat using mild cold that is comfortable and part of a solution for better health and weight loss.

1) Blauw LL, Aziz NA, Tannemaat MR, et al. Diabetes incidence and glucose intolerance prevalence increase with higher outdoor temperature. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care 2017;5:e000317. doi:10.1136/bmjdrc-2016- 000317