Medical News Today reports California as the state having the highest number of diabetics. Diabetes cost California $27.6 billion in 2012. The rest of the states in America are not far behind.
To state the status of diabetes in the U.S. as an epidemic is an understatement. American Diabetes Association research revealed that diagnosed diabetes cost the nation $245 billion in 2012, a 41% increase over the past five years. At that rate, one in three American adults will be diabetic in 2050.
According to the report, the huge cost to the country included direct medical expenses paid by individuals and their insurance. Other costs included losses due to absence from work, job loss, and premature deaths. The research did not account for personal, emotional, or intangible losses. Diabetes extracts penalties in more ways than just dollars.
Diabetes has many causes but the predominant factor is fat. Gaining weight in excess poses the greatest risk for diabetes. With no medical knowledge, one might accurately identify the diabetics in a group by observing girth. In general, overweight adults subject themselves to developing the disease.
In a nation obsessed with thinness, it is surprising that folks gain weight at the rate they do. Despite the millions spent in diet aids and paid promotions for healthy eating, Americans can’t seem to control their pounds. Diabetes is too often the result, after which more millions are spent to control the disease.
The research also showed that more women than men have diabetes. This too belies women’s attention to appearance and obsession with weight. The study shows that somebody pretty much everywhere is not succeeding in the fight against fat. More often than not, it’s the ladies.
My own general observation is that a growing relativism hides our worst problems these days. “I’m okay, you’re okay” is the common acceptance we find for our own and others’ faults. Tolerance is promoted as we accept others as they are and remain blameless for our own condition. Yet, I cannot accept weight complaints from folks who willfully consume M&Ms all afternoon.
Acceptance of such health risk strikes me as self-destructive behavior and not worthy of our sympathies. Wouldn’t it be nice if such diabetes-inducing behaviors didn’t waste our public dollars, doctors’ attention, and effective medical treatments?
Controlling diabetes can bankrupt the nation’s resources, especially under Obamacare. Controlling the diabetes epidemic must start at home with individuals doing their own part for their own good and the good of the whole.
Consider the horrific prospect of willful over-eaters being denied medical care. It can happen.