- Category: Health
- Created on Monday, 03 December 2012 20:23
San Diego, California - A recent and startling federal report revealed type 2 diabetes has become an epidemic across the United States. San Diego is no exception.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by 2010 all 50 states had reached a diabetes prevalence rate of 6 percent or higher. Locally, about 140,600 or 6.2 percent of our population have type 2 diabetes which is linked to obesity.
“It’s a big problem here and across the nation and it’s increasing every year,” said Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. “Obesity is the driving force.”
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body has very high blood sugar levels because the pancreas is not producing enough insulin or the insulin in the body is not working as it should. The latter situation occurs in type 2 diabetes.
The disease can be deadly and may increase the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and eye and kidney disease.
Locally, about 600 people die from diabetes every year. However, in 2010, diabetes contributed indirectly to the death of another 1,800 people in the region. That same year, about 4,300 people had to be hospitalized due to complications from the disease.
The increasing rates of type 2 diabetes have been directly linked to the widening of peoples waistlines. Locally, about 55 percent of adults and one third of all children are overweight or obese.
The good news about obesity and diabetes is that they can be prevented.
“Making healthy food choices, not smoking, and getting enough physical activity are the best ways to prevent obesity and the diseases that it causes,” added Wooten.
Disease prevention has been and continues to be a part of the strategic mission for the County.
The County is an active member of the region’s Childhood Obesity Initiative and two years ago launched the Live Well, San Diego!, a countywide vision to promote healthy, safe, and thriving communities in the region.
Together with a wide-range of partners, including residents, hospitals, physicians, community clinics, businesses, school districts, and community and faith-based organizations, the County is working to build better health locally. Addressing chronic diseases, which contribute to more than half of the deaths of San Diego County residents every year, is a significant part of Live Well, San Diego!.
Increasing access to nutritious food and educating parents about healthy eating are fundamental ways to help prevent chronic diseases and lower the obesity rate.
“The goal is to create policy and systems changes that make it easy for people to make the healthy choice,” Wooten said.