Some scary statistics about diabetes

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  1. The sad thing is much of type 2 diabetes is preventable. Being overweight and being out of shape are both serious risk factors. Being obese (BMI more than 30.0) is *really* serious and in the US about 34% of adults are now obese (check this out for where the world is http://apps.who.int/bmi/index.jsp ) In Tonga type 2 diabetes is now a bit over 15% http://apps.who.int/bmi/index.jsp and their adult population is about 56% obese. The Netherlands has about 10% of its adult population obese (what the US was in the 1950s) and their diabetes rates and other excess weight based illness rates are much lower. They partly justify their funding of active transportation (people using muscle power to get around – walking and biking) and consider it very cost effective.

    On a personal note I know someone who is 52 and overweight but not obese (BMI is about 28). Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 5 years ago and just had her left foot amputated this Summer. Now she faces even worse problems.

    This is a disease that is largely preventable – but sadly we don’t care.
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    I recognize BMI is not always perfectly accurate. If you are extremely muscular your BMI will be artificially high, if you are out of shape it will be artificially low. But it is an easy to measure proxy for body fat and a useful sign for most people.

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