Geriatrician, Hospitalist, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Educator

America's Failure in Disease Prevention

Per Karen Weintraub and Adrianna Rodriguez, in USA Today, “America can prevent (and control) Type 2 diabetes. So why aren’t we doing it?”.

“Type 2 diabetes, in which the body can’t properly regulate blood sugar, has become so common it’s almost considered inconsequential. More than 1 in 10 Americans have the disease (though many don’t know it) and another nearly 4 in 10 are at risk for it. In total, half of all adults and a quarter of teenagers have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Its financial costs are astronomical. The country spends more than $300 billion a year to address diabetes, accounting for $1 out of every $4 spent on health care.

America’s failure to address Type 2 diabetes highlights larger problems with our food and medical systems……. A soda costs less than a bottle of water, a double cheeseburger and fries less than a carton of blueberries. Patients wait months for medical appointments only to see the back of a white coat for the short time they’re allotted. Treating disease costs society far more than preventing it but typically provides more profit for insurance companies, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry."

People don’t realize the cost to their health of eating fastfood and unhealthy foods. It is interesting that Singapore has increased it’s life expectancy by promoting healthy food as healthy food is subsidized and junk food is taxed. The fact that in America, unhealthy food is cheaper and affordable fosters unhealthy habits and leads down a road with poor health outcomes.