At What Point Will We All Be Diabetic (Type II)

Every month it faithfully arrives - my latest issue of Diabetes Forecast, the official publication of the American Diabetes Association. And every month I read it and get mad! I posted a year or so ago about the hypocrisy in the publication. Basically, following their advice is a sure way to live your life (however long that may be) with the disease. There is never any word on the people who reverse their situation. It is all disease management, no disease prevention. Please note that all my following comments are related to Type II Diabetes - which virtually all agree is a lifestyle issue and preventable by living a healthy lifestyle.


Each month they provide some feature articles and recipes. This particular month had a feature on 30 ways to control yourself. I loved #25 - be smart about mindless munching. "When you're eating things like chips, instead of eating your way through the bag or bowl, take a napkin and count out one portion. So count out 10 chips. Then, when you're done with them, you tear off the edge of the napkin as a reminder." Come on! Perhaps they should tell people not to eat chips, but to eat real food. And that chips are all carbohydrates that will raise their insulin. Or would that make too much sense?


In addition to the feature articles and recipes they provide us with lots of interesting facts about how prevalent diabetes is. Perhaps so its readers don't feel lonely? Here's the latest - 26 million people in the US have diabetes and 7 million of them are undiagnosed per the CDC. This means 8.3% of the population has diabetes. The estimates of people with prediabetes is 79 million and these numbers have increased substantially. In 2010 there were 1.9 million new people diagnosed with diabetes. What is worse is that Type II diabetes is now appearing in our youths and at younger and younger ages. It leads one to think, how much longer until 25% or more of the population is diabetic. Already 27% of US residents over age 65 have diabetes! I'm sure you can only guess what burden this places on our health care system.


And remember - Type II diabetes is preventable and don't tell the American Diabetes Association, but it is also reversible. Not that I'm a big fan of the Nanny State, telling us what to eat and what not to eat, but that is the issue. What we are putting in our mouths and our children's mouths is making us obese and leading to Type II diabetes. Right now 72.5 million Americans are obese, a leading contributor to deaths from heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Annual medical costs associated with obesity are estimated to be as high as $147 billion. Obese people have average annual medical costs that are over $1400 more than people of normal weight people. The latest CDC report finds the number of obese adults increasing, now 26.7% of the population.


I'm concerned. When will we truly begin to care about our health as a society?


Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at bernie@brwellness.com, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.