Three million more people have been diagnosed with diabetes since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last took count in 2010. That brings the total number of Americans with diabetes to a whopping 29 million…Though large, the numbers aren’t all that surprising; the rates of diabetes 1 and 2 have been rising for several years now.
But the 29 million figure, featured in a CDC report published this week, is just the people who have been diagnosed. Many more likely have the disease but are unaware — and undiagnosed.
The CDC estimates that of the estimated 12.3 percent of the adult population with diabetes, one in four don’t know they have it. That’s not to mention some 86 million people who have prediabetes, 15 to 30 percent of whom the CDC says will develop type 2 diabetes within five years…
The resulting medical complications from diabetes and prediabetes total more than $245 billion in healthcare costs each year.
The CDC’s Ann Albright says one of the only ways Americans can chip away at these worrisome trends is to improve dietary habits. Even those with prediabetes can avoid the fate of an official diabetes diagnosis by making simple changes, like losing weight and eating healthier.
“Some of the strongest evidence suggests that small changes — like losing 5 to 7 percent of your body weight if you’re overweight — can make the biggest difference,” Albright explained.
“Invest in foods that are nutritious,” Albright added, “like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”
I probably qualify as prediabetic – though much less so than I used to. A couple of sedentary gigs last few years before retirement left me a lot heavier and getting less exercise than was customary most of my life. Fortunately, my better half does a serious job of encouraging not only sounder nutrition; but, more exercise. I grew new habits as simple as portion control, deriving self-satisfaction from managing a small and useful part of diet oversight.
Steadily, consistently, I lose about 6 pounds a year. Have been for about a decade.
I don’t understand people who whine that a healthy diet is twice as expensive as fast food. Yes, it’s difficult if you’re living on the road as I did for a number of years. But, if you’re home for breakfast and supper, you’re sensible enough to brown bag it for lunch – we ain’t all organic; but, we also spend less on food than we did even a few years ago. And, nowadays, I’m home at lunchtime which allows for a hot meal prepared by me.
Here’s a link to the CDC’s report [.pdf]. Graphic, simple, useful.