Sunday, January 22, 2006

New York: Ground Zero For the Diabetes Epidemic

You won't find a better example of diabetes at its devastating worst than New York City, arguably ground zero for this horrible epidemic, based on an awesome piece of reporting in the New York Times (free text links below).

The number of diabetetics in America has swelled by a frightening 80 percent over the past decade, based on federal numbers. Over that same time, the incidence of diabetes grew a staggering 140 percent in New York alone to some 800,000 adults.

For comparison's sake, that's more than twice the number of the new patients diagnosed in Boston and higher than the rest of the nation by close to a third.

Despite these horrific numbers, New York doctors are even more concerned about the next generation of diabetes patients who could cripple our health care system, economy and lifestyles once and for all. Aside from a few experts (me included), however, public health officials have ignored diabetes, called by one Boston doctor "the Rodney Dangerfield of diseases."

Here's a clue how true this analogy is: New Yorkers spend a disproportionate amount on diabetes prevention programs (less than $1 million) than they do on tuberculosis ($27 million), even though 4,100 residents of that great city will be diagnosed with diabetes, 250 will lose limbs and 55 will go blind, all over the course of one day.

Folks, diabetes -- at nearly any stage -- is very treatable and it doesn't have to devastate your health either. In fact, the steps for safeguarding your health from the destructive nature of diabetes are pretty simple:

Get the right amount of sleep every night.

Start an exercise program today!Retool your diet so you eat the right foods for your body's unique metabolic type.
New York Times January 9, 2006 Registration Required


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