Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Jerry Hickey. Ph
Isn’t it ironic that the United States is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, but it is far from the healthiest? We see this year after year when they rank the United States in terms of its inferior health status. This has been a problem for many years in the United States and it is continuously getting worse when you look at the life expectancy and access to healthcare. These are many of the different factors that are taken into account when they go through this country index. They rank 169 different countries and the United States falls roughly around 35th in terms of the health status of this nation.
There are a lot of different things that they take into consideration and much of what they focus on are things such as diet. The eating habits within certain communities or nations really can have a huge impact. One of the main focuses that they usually hone in on is the Mediterranean diet. In this country, people do not adhere to that. They follow a Standard American Diet and it is due to this that we now have what we recognize as diabesity.
What is diabesity?
Diabesity is a modern epidemic. It indicates the coexistence of both diabetes and obesity and there are many pathophysiological mechanisms revolving around insulin resistance and high insulin levels. We have to be able to correlate this back to poor physical activity, as well as poor dietary intake, so diet and exercise do play a significant role in this.
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When we break it down in terms of the management of diabesity in this country, it is really quite staggering. When we look at the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity and diagnosed diabetes in this country now compared to what they were in the 1990s, it’s just astonishing to see the rate in which obesity and hence diabetes have partnered up with each other and basically created this horrible epidemic that is just flooding through the country.
The dangers of diabesity
We know that the sky-high obesity prevalence is the driving force for this diabesity pandemic. A staggering 42% of Americans are obese and nearly 32% are overweight, which means we have roughly less than 30% of Americans who are technically at a healthy weight.
This excess body weight that Americans are carrying around and the inadequate physical activity are certainly associated with many different things, including higher blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and an increase in chronic inflammation. When we have these factors that start to build up, then we are certainly marching down that path going from metabolic syndrome and prediabetes into full-blown Type II diabetes. This is an issue and we need traditional doctors to start to recognize this.
We certainly know that when it comes to diabetics and we look at the increased risk of heart attacks, kidney failure and amputations, we know that diabetics have an extremely higher risk.
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We can look at all of the different advancements that have come about in terms of medicinal or pharmacological approaches to managing diabetes, but yet, we’re still missing the big picture. This is why we see this uptick in all of these diabetic disorders and we are not winning the war on diabetes. If anything, we are actually doing worse because of this increase in the number of diabetics in this country, as well as the rising rate of obesity.
Tune into the full podcast episode to learn more about the dangers and prevalence of diabesity.
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