I know I have a decent amout of readers who are diabetic. I also can think of one friend and blogger who is. Not to mention in my family, where I know there have been some diabetics including my dad who may be reading this right now on his shiney new computer. Yet somehow, in both conversations with friends and the mass media, it’s rare to hear about the diabetes epidemic that is sweeping the US, especially New York City.
Just to make sure Im not abusing that word, not that I care very much about not abusing words, lets go to the definition:
Epidemic – 1 : affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time
2 a : excessively prevalent b : CONTAGIOUS 4
3 : of, relating to, or constituting an epidemic
According to the American Diabetes Society, it is most certainly an epidemic affecting 20.8 million Americans, 7% of the population! According to the Guardian, the poorest areas of places like New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn) have a higher percentage of people affected. This is a result of a combination of factors which may include genes, but the one that sticks out in my eyes is DIET. When you consider how terrible the mainstream American diet is (Im talking about the fast food 5 days a week), you can see where the increased risk arises. That and lack of exercise, as usual.
Not to compare conditions or make some competition between health problems, but I think more research and awareness needs to exist in terms of this problem. We hear lots about cancer. We hear insane amounts about bird flu. But when you take something that effects all of us directly, like diabetes, and call into question the diet promoted by big business…. it gets awfully quiet.