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Americans Keep Raising the Bar on Diabetes

"I never met a beer I didn't like."

"I never met a beer I didn't like."

Americans are raising the bar again.  Or should I say expanding the waistline?  Records are being set in the incidence of Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes.  Current estimates say that diabetes will douuble among Americans by 2034.

Diabetes is more than just an inconvenience, it’s the leading cause of blindness, amputations and late-stage kidney disease.

There are two astounding facts about diabetes: (a) 95% of all diabetes cases are of the Type 2 variety, and (b) Type 2 is largely preventable.  Factors which contribute to Type 2 diabetes include a poor diet and lack of exercise.

A 1991 study, detailed in the December issue of the Journal of Diabetes Care, predicted that the incidence of diabetes would double, from 6.5 million in 1987 to 11.6 million by 2030.  The reality?  We’ve already overshot the mark at 23.7 million cases.

In other words, Americans are eating and couch-potatoing themselves to death, and they’re way ahead of schedule.  If terrorists could only take the long view, they’d leave us alone.  They’d know that we’re destined to supersize ourselves into oblivion without their help.

While Americans are getting fatter and funkier, due to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, they’re also being kept alive longer because of more aggressive medical interventions.  The future will be populated by seas of blimpoid boomers who continue to have a pulse by the grace of Big Pharma.

As if the future didn’t look bleak enough because of war and TARP debt that we’ll be repaying to China until 2075, consider the strain on the health care system with legions of fatties on life support clogging up ERs from Seattle to Pensacola, sucking the treasury dry, and making Big Insurance feel blessed.  Assuming we still have a health care system in 2075, that is.

Image by Tim Zim, licensed through Creative Commons.

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