Sunday, September 6, 2009

The True Cost of The Diabetes Epidemic

According to the American Diabetes Association:

Over 20 million children and adults in the U.S have diabetes and another 54 million have pre-diabetes.(1) The total annual economic cost of diabetes in 2007 was estimated to be $174 billion. Medical expenditures totaled $116 billion and were comprised of $27 billion for diabetes care, $58 billion for chronic diabetes-related complications, and $31 billion for excess general medical costs. Indirect costs resulting from increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, disease-related unemployment disability, and loss of productive capacity due to early mortality totaled $58 billion. This is an increase of $42 billion since 2002. This 32% increase means the dollar amount has risen over $8 billion more each year.

These figures do not represent the additional impact of obesity, which is another growing epidemic and contributor to the diabetes problem, on our economic condition. If you ask me, the primary motives of any health care reform and societal change should and must come in the form of serious and effective PREVENTION if we are going to dig out from this accelerating downward spiraling train wreck of health. Here is one thing that is interesting to me though:

The corporate sponsors of the American Dietetic Association
Coca Cola
Mars Candy
General Mills (2)

The same primary producers of the high calorie, high fat, high sugar, low nutrient, vitamin deficient and otherwise poor quality food products on the store shelves and in fast food chains. So is the American Dietetic Association serving our best interests or the interests of the pocketbooks which help give them their authority? I will leave it up to you to decide. Will these manufacturers and producers start making better quality food products for reasonable prices? I will leave that up to you to decide. Will they eliminate the culprits of destructive health such as high fructose corn syrup? Will we begin to see an end to the health problems we now face resulting in significant financial strain on individuals and government finances? I will leave that up to you to decide.

Here is interesting information about blueberries, diabetes prevention and diabetes management: Blueberry Drink Protects Against Obesity and Diabetes

American Dietetic Association
American Diabetes Association Diabetes Statistics
1. All about diabetes
2. Corporate Sponsor of The American Dietetic Association


kate said...

The big producers of most children's food get our little ones hooked at an early age, it is sad and deplorable. I second everything you say! -kate

DQ's Windmill said...

It's the same story all the time, like how the Dairy Council has long sponsored "health charts" for classrooms and "public service announcements," all advocating the abundant consumption of milk and dairy.

TC said...

Thanks Kate and DQ. Yes, the children are being led but it is the parents who need to make the effort to change this. Sometimes that can be difficult for people with limited budgets since poor quality food is often cheaper. This issue is definitely a concern for all of us and I am hoping for greater awareness to push for changes. A grand scheme but these little steps are part of the process.