There has been a dramatic increase in obesity and diabetes in America over the past 20 years. Enough of an increase to say Di-Obesity is an epidemic in America today. In 1997 19.1% of Americans were obese and 5.1% were Diabetics. According to the data in this study, in 2017 31.4% of Americans are obese and 9.5% are diabetic. This data is only on diagnosed cases of obesity and diabetes, other studies have estimated about 50% of Americans are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
I have to admit, I didn’t coin the term Di-Obesity that comes from another Chiropractor I know, it is a great term to describe what is going on here. The diabetes that is on the rise is Type-2, the type we give to ourselves due to poor diet and lifestyle habits. Type-2 diabetes is closely associated with obesity, the term Di-Obesity describes the situation well. Type-2 diabetes is a condition where the body becomes resistant to insulin, a hormone that transports sugar from the food it is digested to the cell to be used or stored. Type-2 diabetes is almost entirely caused by poor diet, typically overeating, and lack of proper exercise. Type-1 diabetes is more closely related to genetics and is far less common today than type-2.
Type-2 diabetes was something typically seen in older people but early onset, aged 20-40, is becoming more common. According to another recent study people diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes before 40 years of age had were almost two-and-a-half times more likely to die early than those diagnosed after the age of 60. They also showed that people diagnosed before the age of 40 had higher body mass index compared with 29.9 for those aged 60 and over, and they had higher blood sugar levels when they were first diagnosed than those over 60.
What concerns me is, because diabetes has become rather common and the treatments are mostly easily accessible I fear that many people and physicians don’t have the concern for it as they should. I say this because in the commentary regarding research that shows taking a statin to control cholesterol increases the risk for diabetes by 30%, physicians were unconcerned because they have other drugs to treat diabetes. Did you know that common complications of diabetes include altered sensation affecting activities like walking, amputation of the feet, and loss of vision, two things that might have a huge impact on the quality of life as we get older.
I don’t think I have to expound on much on the impact obesity has on our health. Obesity increases the risk for just about every illness or disease you can think about. While I don’t like using BMI as the singular source to determine if someone is obese it is what is used today. I suggest you check out your BMI, you might be shocked to find how much you should weigh compared to your height to have a normal BMI. The average American male is 5 foot 10 inches and weighs is 195.7 pounds that makes his BMI 28.12 making him overweight. The average American female is 5 foot 4 inches and weighs 166.2 pounds, this makes her BMI 28.12 labeling her overweight.
Discussing weight and diabetes is a tough thing to do today, there is a push for people to accept their body type. We are told that to criticize someones weight is called body shaming them and we are discouraged from doing so. The reality, though, is that by ignoring someone with increasing body weight out of fear of shaming them does them more harm than good. Obesity will lead to increasing health problems including diabetes and result in a diminishing quality of life. We typically approach weight by speaking the truth intermixed with lots of love, if you have someone going down that path I suggest you do the same. Di-Obesity is an epidemic in America today and if things continue in the current trend we will only get sicker.