Monday, October 29, 2007

New York City's Call To Action

The City University of New York Campaign Against Diabetes and the Public Health Association of New York City released a report last month:

Reversing The Diabetes And Obesity Epidemics In New York City: A Call To Action To Confront A Public Health, Economic And Moral Threat To New York City’s Future

Some Highlights:
  • In the last 10 years, the number of New Yorkers who have been diagnosed with diabetes has increased by 250% and the death rate has nearly doubled.

  • For the most part, our society has viewed diabetes as an individual problem, requiring people at risk to eat less, move more, and follow their doctors advice more consistently. In our view, this simplistic perspective ignores the major role that our social and physical environments play in shaping the choices individuals make.

  • The two major individual level risk factors for diabetes are physical inactivity and overweight.

  • According to the American Diabetes Association, the 2002 difference between the annual cost of health care for someone with diabetes and those without the condition was $7,600. It is estimated that without complications diabetes care costs about $1,600 a year but with complications the cost can soar to more than $40,000.
The report outlines additional problems associated with ignoring the rising incidence of diabetes. It also offers solutions ... for the individual ... for society ... for employers ... for healthcare providers ... for government. The report is well-written, not full of policy-speak, and comes across as a sincere and passionate cry for change.