Diabetes in Kansas: A pending tidal wave
Children born in 2000 have a one in three chance of becoming diabetic. Already the epidemic is estimated to cost Kansas $1.3 billion, a price that taps the pocketbook of every resident. As the number of type 2 diabetes continues to grow, so do the health complications and costs that come with the rising tide.
The diabetes epidemic is directly tied to the increase in obesity rates among Kansans. In the past 15 years, as the state's residents have gotten fatter, the rate of those diagnosed with diabetes has increased by 88 percent.
Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is a life-changing event that requires patients to take control of their health care. For some that means monitoring blood sugar levels. For others it's overhauling diets and exercise habits.
In the fight against type 2 diabetes, eating less and exercising more is key to prevention. If the entire American population could shift its weight downward by 10 to 20 pounds, 60 percent of future diabetes cases could be eliminated.