According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control, Diabetes may affect as many as 1 in 3 Americans by 2050. Currently, 1 in 10 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the disease, which is the leading cause of adult blindness, kidney failure, and limb amputation. It also contributes to heart attacks and strokes. Talk about a good time!

Diabetes is also very expensive to manage, and the cost of care affects not only the person who needs it, but those around them as well. The CDC estimates the current cost of diabetes at $174 billion annually — $116 billion of which is in direct medical costs. If the projections presented in their report go unheeded, those costs will increase right along with rates of the disease.

Though the rise may be due, in part, to the fact that people are living longer with the disease thanks to improved treatment methods, sky-rocketing obesity rates are being targeted as the primary “fuel” for the dramatic increase that is expected.

As mentioned in a USA Today article on the report,  Duke University Medical Center endocrinologist Susan Spratt says that prevention programs and policies related to obesity and diabetes need to be established, with a special emphasis on schools. Healthy habits can help set kids up for a lifetime.

As quoted in the same piece, David Kendall, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association, had this to say, “There’s a dual message here: prevention where it’s feasible, and critical and early intervention for those already diagnosed.”

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