June 19, 2012

Fox News asks Does America have a diabetes death wish?

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Fox News is able to use gripping headlines to get us thinking. Chris Kilham, an educator and contributing editor asks, does America have a diabetes death wish?

Type 2 diabetes is spreading across the globe like a bubonic plague. For whatever the reason – people are not running scared to avoid this diagnosis. Has the treatment of Type 2 diabetes assuaged the  fear, anxiety, and guilt to a level where it is no longer a threat?

The Lancet published a study that confirms “lifestyle modification is the cornerstone of diabetes prevention, with evidence of a 40—70 percent relative-risk reduction.”  Why do people prefer to fall in the safety net than avoid the fall in the first place?

Currently the number of people with pre-diabetes (79 million) is more than three times the number of people living with Type 2 diabetes (26 million). More than 250,000 people will die of Type 2 diabetes this year and the annual cost of Type 2 diabetes exceeds $218 billion. Diabetes is not a cheap date.

Chris Kilham makes suggestions on how we can proactively take the bull by the horns and arrest the trend of unhealthy lifestyle. Chris urges an approach starting with schools. This includes dietary awareness, daily physical education (gym class), and revamping the school food offerings (cafeteria, vending machines, etc.)

Furthermore, he encourages the establishment of a national task force to “systemically re-educate the entire national population on nutrition and exercise”. Chris is intense. I like the large scale approach he envisions because he realizes the magnitude of the danger.  It is a weighty problem that needs a heavyweight approach to answer.

If the government was as committed to solving the national threat of Type 2 diabetes and obesity as it is to the threat of terrorism, people would be made aware of the threat. It would be shameful to think that sick people are more profitable for a country than healthier people.  That would be senseless politics.

Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter who researches natural remedies all over the world, from the Amazon to Siberia. He teaches ethnobotany at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is Explorer In Residence. Chris advises herbal, cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies and is a regular guest on radio and TV programs worldwide.  His field research is largely sponsored by Naturex of Avignon, France. Read more at  http://www.medicinehunter.com/.

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