Prevention is Inevitable
Prevention is the only inevitable solution to the dilemma of Type 2 Diabetes. Wellness participation that begins with physical activity and is supported by lifestyle choice and change is a sound way to control the out-of-control impact diabetes will have on healthcare spending over the next 3-4 decades.
While roughly 10 percent of adults suffer from diabetes today, that figure is projected to jump to between 20 and 33 percent by 2050, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
“These are alarming numbers that show how critical it is to change the course of Type 2 diabetes,” Ann Albright, director of CDC’s division of diabetes translation, said in a statement. “Successful programs to improve lifestyle choices on healthy eating and physical activity must be made more widely available, because the stakes are too high and the personal toll too devastating to fail.” For more, you can read the full article here.
Aging adults, those who are overweight or obese and those who do not participate in regular physical activity are at most risk – and with each decade the numbers in each of those categories grows exponentially. Recent estimates put the annual cost to treat the disease at $174 billion, with $116 billion going toward direct medical care.
If prevention begins with regular age and condition specific programming, it only makes sense that those with the power to advocate a solution path would be seeking proven, scalable and easy to replicate programming. In order to help communities help their at-risk populations, the programs cannot be a stand alone intervention. People need to be able to enroll in the program, access it conveniently from home or work and be sure that a professional person familiar with their age/condition will support participation.
The programs must be consistently delivered so that a physician and insurer and be confident that what they prescribe is effective, consistent and as reliably right for the patient as any drug they prescribe. In addition – just like with a drug or medication – compliance in “taking the medicine” is the only way the prescription can do what it is meant to do. Validating the physical activity is an important piece of our critical efforts to point millions of potential Type 2 Diabetes sufferers toward a path to wellness.
Until we build the Wellness Resource Network within communities all over the country, we will not stave off the drastic and negative economic, productivity and quality of life impact of Type 2 Diabetes. We welcome your comments and if you have more to share, please contact us for an interview we can post on our blog.