The diabetes epidemic in California can no longer be ignored. Each year California has more new cases of diabetes than any other state in the nation; there are now an estimated 3.9 million Californians with diabetes (1 in 7 adults). Of these, about 1.5 million adults are undiagnosed and unaware they have the disease. It is estimated that 11.4 million Californians (41% of adults) have prediabetes, a condition that increases risk for developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years. These shocking numbers show an urgent need to educate our communities about their risk for diabetes and how to prevent the crippling effects of this disease.
Prevention is key to the elimination of California’s diabetes epidemic and the related costs of treating a lifelong condition. Preventing and controlling diabetes requires intense efforts to improve access to healthcare and promote healthy behavior among people with and at risk of diabetes by developing policies that improve the environments where people live, work, learn and play. The impact of both type 2 diabetes and prediabetes can be reduced through healthy eating, weight loss, and physical activity.
This year the World Diabetes Day collaboration is focusing efforts on awareness and education by promoting the ADA Diabetes Risk Screen and coordinating with the regions businesses and organizations to hold diabetes awareness day events (on November 14 if possible) for their employees.