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U.S. News & World Report: Our Lifestyles Are Killing Us

America is facing a Type 2 diabetes epidemic stemming from lack of exercise and poor diet.

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Date: 
Thursday, November 16, 2017
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By Dr. Jonathan Fielding

Everyone has their Thanksgiving favorite. For some, it's turkey. For most, it's fixings and desserts – sweet and rich – that appeal. As we gear up for Thanksgiving, planning whether we'll serve pecan pie or pumpkin, stop for a moment to consider that too many Americans eat rich and sugary foods every day, instead of only on holidays and special occasions as in decades past. There is a high cost to eating like there's no tomorrow.

America is now in the grip of a worsening diabetes epidemic. With more than 30 million people estimated with Type 1 and 2 diabetes, every U.S. age group and ethnicity are impacted. According to a new Gallup and Sharecare report, Type-2 diabetes cases are hitting all-time highs in the U.S. Communities are struggling with the impacts. In California, where 9 percent of the population has diabetes, amputations – due to the effects of diabetes on blood flow – increased 31 percent between 2010 and 2016. According to the CDC, 85.2 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, and diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2015. People with diabetes face double the risk of death compared to people of the same age who don't have it.

Read the full op-ed from U.S. News & World Report