Medical Examiner

The New Puzzle of Diabetes

Most diabetic patients in the West are obese. In India, they’re not. What’s going on?

Most people think of Type 2 diabetes as a scourge caused by the fatty diets and sedentary lifestyles of modern Western countries. But scientists are now realizing that this is less than half the story. Eighty percent of the cases are now occurring in developing nations, and many of those patients don’t fit the stereotype.

The New Face of Diabetes, the short documentary above, travels to India, one of the epicenters of what has become a global epidemic. Most diabetic patients in the West are obese. In India they’re not. What’s going on? Indian scientist C.S. Yajnik has undertaken a massive study to try to answer that question, and along the way he is changing how the world sees this devastating disease.