In Less than 10 years, Either You or Your Spouse Will have Diabetes

…or have prediabetes. This, according to a study by health insurer United Health, and as reported by Reuters. Some additional stark figures:

  • By 2020, 50% of Americans will be afflicted by diabetes.
  • The cost to America will be $3.35 TRILLION !!!
  • The direct medical bills, today at $11,700 per diabetic, will be about 10% of total healthcare spending by 2020.
  • There are 26 million diabetics in the US alone, and another 67 millions are what’s considered pre-diabetic.
  • Over 80% of prediabetics don’t even know they are at risk.

What you need to know:

Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to handle high blood sugar levels. Normally, he body manufactures insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels, but diabetics either don’t manufacture any (type 1), or enough (type 2), or can’t use it effectively (also type 2). Diabetes is a chronic condition which cannot be cured.

The steepest increase in diabetes is type 2, resulting from poor eating habits that lead to obesity. Which means that for many people suffering from diabetes, they could have avoided it had they known and acted early enough!

Do yourself a favor, don’t wait until it’s too late. Consult with your doctor and check your blood sugar levels. Then go and consult with a dietitian who will help you build a food plan that works for you.

What to do at the supermarket:

if you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it, so limit your spending on junky foods and soft drinks. Use the saved fund to buy healthier food at the store perimeter.

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  • Leighann of D-Mom Blog

    Thank you for differentiating between the two types of diabetes. Unfortunately mainstream media tends to lump the two together and those with Type 1 diabetes feel blamed for an autoimmune disease that they had no control over getting.

    People with Type 1 diabetes will ALWAYS need insulin to keep them alive. Though diet and exercise can help keep them healthy in general, it will not take away their need for life-saving insulin.

    Many people with Type 2 diabetes can manage it through diet and exercise and some don’t even need medication if they take care of themselves.

  • elisabeth

    I don’t doubt that type 2 diabetes is a serious medical situation. But I wonder if there isn’t a certain amount of over medicalization — especially with the idea of “prediabetes.” It’s like osteopenia and osteoporosis — people are encouraged to worry and treat conditions that are the invention of the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Caitlin

    As a type-1 diabetic I appreciate your efforts to differentiate between the two types of diabetes. I would like to note an error with your descriptions. It might be more appropriate to say diabetes occurs when your body struggles to produce or use the hormone insulin-that results in high blood sugar.

    A type-1 diabetic fails to produce ANY insulin, an auto immune disease. The two descriptions given, not manufacturing enough insulin and not using it efficiently, are actually both associated with type-2. I love to see discussion over this and am hoping more will be done to differentiate the two diseases. I’m rooting for new nomenclature to distinguish them!

    • Editorial Staff

      @Caitlin, updated the post to reflect your comment. Thank you!

  • Mere


    Prediabetes is a medical condition where blood glucose levels are elevated above what is healthy but not yet actually in the type II range, it’s not just a doctor deciding on a whim to place someone in a new category. Considering it is far more likely for a pre-diabetic than diabetic to reverse this process through diet, exercise and yes, medication, I think it’s dangerous to blame overmedicalization. People who can reverse their high blood sugar are saving themselves from a lifetime of constant monitoring and possibly becoming dependent on insulin. The pharmaceutical companies are not creating more patients to use their products, just profiting off them.

  • Mari

    I know, that it is still diabetes, by definition…and maybe it’s wrong of me, but does anyone else get annoyed when people get fat and “get diabetes”?

    Everyday, people are BORN with this situation that is life threatening and a huge hassle to them to struggle with and to regulate, daily, hourly…while everyday there are people failing to regulate their intake of food, subsequently becoming morbidly obese and “getting” diabetes.

    I just think that you either have diabetes, or it’s something else entirely… still calling it “diabetes” seems to lend credit to it that isn’t deserved. Essentially, I’ll run a race for a cure for diabetes, but if you can’t stop putting food in your mouth*, that is so a problem for the masses.

    It’s my understanding that you can overcome type 2 (i.e. lose weight) and I really wish they’d call it something else. Real diabetics already have a tough enough life without people thinking that they need to lose weight so it will go away.

    *The End of Overeating is absolutely fascinating for the record.

  • Kris Johnson

    The Top Three Causes of of Diabetes and Obesity
    I definitely isn’t something you are just born with. But out food system is tacked against us. I call myself a reformed and liberated dietitian – I don’t trust most dietitians to know this information, unfortunately.

  • mari

    @Kris Great link!

  • Mere


    Type I diabetic here who finds your comment very troublesome.

    “Real” (type I?) diabetics aren’t born – it’s an autoimmune disorder that appears to have genetic and environmental triggers and usually doesn’t hit til at least childhood. Type II has been known to have a heavily genetic component for ages, far more than type I. In many cases type II can be reversed, but it’s not just a disease made from fat and laziness. You don’t even have to be “morbidly obese” to become insulin resistant. And even though diet and behavior contribute to the disease doesn’t mean people suffer from it any less.

    There are several types (yes, more than 2!) of diabetes, all of which are very different disorders. A “cure” for one is completely irrelevant to the others and treatment for type II’s aren’t taking anything away from the rest of us. Type II is the disease that is increasing in frequency due to our diet, and that affects the most people, so yeah, it needs to be addressed the most.

  • George White

    Wouldn’t it be nice if non diabetes sufferers could understand that not all diabetics are fat and overweight.