Well Being

Americans Are Choosing Type-2 Diabetes In Record Numbers

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Let's stop this America, yeah? Because, frankly, the rate at which type-2 diabetes is taking over this country — a new report shows cases doubled in most states over a 16-year period — is embarrassing, not to mention opening us up for a whole slew of future health disasters. And we're just letting it happen. Why?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, 42 states saw type-2 diabetes cases increase by 50% or more between 1995 and 2010; in 18 states, it increased by 100% or more in this time period. The sharpest increases were seen in Oklahoma (up 226%); Kentucky (up 158%), Georgia (up 145%), Alabama (up 140%), Washington ( up 135%) and West Virginia (up 131 percent). 

Overall, there were 18.8 million Americans in 2010 with diagnosed diabetes and another 7 million with undetected diabetes. Regionally, the largest increase was in the South, followed by the West, Midwest, and Northeast.

“The CDC has long since warned us that, should current trends persist, as many as one out of three Americans could be diabetic by mid-century,” said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center.

“A worsening epidemic of diabetes is engulfing us. We have the knowledge we need of what works, but have thus far failed to apply it effectively.”

Diabetes is currently the seventh-leading cause of death in this country. That puts it just behind Alzheimer's disease — itself a disease which having diabetes doubles the risk of getting.

Diabetes also can lead to blindness, kidney failure and needing to have your limbs amputated.

Yet it's entirely preventable. And it's reversible. You can stop yourself from getting it, and you can make it go away if you have it, so you pretty much have to decide you're cool with having type-2 diabetes to have type-2 diabetes. You have to choose to have it.

To me, choosing to have a disease that might very well make you blind and limbless, along with giving your Alzheimer's disease, is a pretty poor decision. But, hey, I mean, what's the alternative? Changing your diet?!? Right. Bring on the kidney failure!

And to some 18 million Americans, those last few sentences are apparently perfectly reasonable.