HATTIESBURG, MS - The World health organization is making diabetes its focus for Thursday's World Health Day.
According to WHO, the number of people with diabetes has quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults worldwide.
Close to one and a half million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year and Dr. Richard Galloway said this is not surprising.
"We get less physical activity and we are fatter we eat more foods and burn up less," Galloway said.
WHO said diabetes is a serious disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough of the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar or when the body cannot use the insulin it produces.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common and is caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices and a poor diet. But there are several misconceptions about the disease.
"People think if you eat too much sugar you are going to get diabetes or if you have it not to eat it as much deserts but it's really about starches and weight and exercise," Galloway said.
However, diabetes can also be passed along genetically. Quinn Bullock comes from a family of diabetics and said he found out about his diabetes 12 years ago.
"Obviously it makes you worried how long are you going to be around and what can I do to have some longevity," Bullock said.
In comparison, Type 1 diabetes is not as easy to prevent. Kids like Maddy Mayfield are diagnosed at a young age and deal with it throughout their lifetime.
"We're really proud to be her parents and be able to see the bravery that she has and dealing with it," mother Stephanie Mayfield said.
In total, almost 30 million people in the U.S. also fight this disease everyday.