I wrote this for C-HIT.
The CDC has a Diabetes Atlas one can use to visualize how the occurrence of diabetes has grown nationally and State by State since 1994. A lot of information in that atlas.
The economic impact of diabetes and pre-diabetes is staggering.
The impact on individuals is equally staggering, and has doubled in the last 20 years. The prices of prescription drugs to treat diabetes is higher than any other class of traditional drug. And it continues to rise. (Don’t get me started on Big Pharma.)
One thing that always seems to get lost in discussions about diabetes in America is how endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure is linked to rising diabetes and obesity rates. (Think you’re safe from BPA? Think again.) Exposure to industrial chemicals through our food, our personal care products, our packaging, our water, effects more than just diabetes and obesity rates.
In my UNH class on reporting and writing about poverty, we keep coming up against obesity and diabetes, and diabetes and obesity, and how economically vulnerable people (read “poor”) are screwed,blued, and tattooed. Their environment. Their food. It all points to these issues.
And the longer wealth and income continue to be redistributed upward instead of outward means it’s just going to get worse.
I came across a quote from French historian Robert Fossier yesterday:
The medieval world had little pity for the unlucky and the disgracés [stigmatized]. … The blind man’s mistakes were laughed at, the sick were excluded and the weak scorned …. At best, they were feared and people fled from them; at the worst, they were exterminated …. It was better to give a vineyard to the Church than a kiss to a leper.
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