Just when you thought the dire predictions about diabetes couldn’t get any worse, here’s some more alarming news: up to a third of U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050. This was stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention new press release.
To look at it another way, the CDC projects that, over the next 40 years, diabetes in the U.S. will increase from one in 10 adults to between one in five and one in three adults in 2050. One in three adults — think about that for a moment. In every home with at least three family members, one person will have diabetes.
In 2007, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. It is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults under age 75, as well as kidney failure, and leg and foot amputations not caused by injury.
Clearly something needs to be done. The best way to protect against diabetes is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. What could be easier? Eating healthy foods every day and getting a little exercise makes sense for all kinds of reasons. Not only could you spare yourself the ravages of diabetes, but you could likely reduce your chances for getting all kinds of other nasty conditions.
The CDC says that successful programs to improve lifestyle choices when it comes to healthy eating and physical activity must be made more widely available, because the stakes are too high and the personal toll too devastating to fail. Strong words from an organization that is known for its cautious and measured response to any health crisis.
The CDC notes that it is estimated that diabetes cost the United States more than $174 billion in 2007, and the disease is expected to take an increasingly large financial toll in subsequent years.
Take the opportunity now to start eating well and exercising. Living with diabetes can mean serious problems with energy levels, daily insulin needles, trouble with eyesight, and nerve damage to the feet and legs. Many diabetics are forced to give up their driver’s license and must schedule each day carefully around insulin injections and meals intended to balance blood sugar levels. For some, maintaining proper blood sugar is a daily, or even hourly, battle that can cause anxiety, fatigue, and frustration.
The solution is simple: start eating a balanced, healthy diet today full of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and low-cholesterol proteins. And then get some exercise. It doesn’t matter what you do — walking, biking, lawn bowling, gardening, skating, yoga — just get your circulation going, increase your metabolism and burn off a few calories.