Diabetes numbers reaching epidemic level

| August 19, 2011 | 0 Comments

Shari Lopatin
TriWest Healthcare Alliance



PHOENIX — More than 8 percent of the entire U.S. population has diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, or ADA.

Another 79 million Americans are in danger of becoming diabetic.

That’s more people than the entire country of France.

With such staggering numbers, what is causing this epidemic?

“Over the past decade, obesity has become recognized as a national health threat and a major public health challenge,” said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, on its website. “Obese adults are at an increased risk for many serious health conditions, including … Type 2 diabetes.”

During the past 20 years, obesity has increased dramatically throughout the U.S., according to the CDC. More than 30 of the country’s 50 states had at least a quarter of their population obese in 2009.

The ADA identifies people who are overweight or obese, and who don’t exercise regularly, at higher risk for developing diabetes. Therefore, as the country grows less active and collectively gains weight, more and more people will become diabetic.

Many other health problems can develop once a person becomes diabetic, including heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease and nerve system disease.

Here are some ADA tips on preventing the onset of Type 2 diabetes:

  • Buy more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Purchase leaner meats, such as chicken and fish, and stick to low-fat dairy products.
  • Take a brisk walk every day, such as in the morning or after dinner.
  • Join an exercise class, such as dance, aerobics or weightlifting.
  • Gently stretch every night before bed.

Been diagnosed?

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you may beeligible for Diabetes Self-Management Training. ThisTricare-covered program offers training and counseling in the following:

  • Monitoring blood sugar levels.
  • Proper diet for diabetics.
  • Exercise for your condition.
  • An insulin treatment plan, if needed.
  • Skills for self-management of diabetes.

Visit www.triwest.com/DiabetesSelfMgmt. For more healthy living tips, visit www.triwest.com/healthyliving.

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Category: Community, Health

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