Answer me this: What can be prevented or delayed, affects 28.5 million Americans, and causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined? The answer is.....Diabetes. As unfortunate as this is, most of us probably know someone that doesn’t even know they have diabetes yet. This disease affects over 8% (almost 26 million people) of the population between type 1 and type 2, and is this number is only increasing. This puts diabetes as the seventh leader in cause of death in the United States. Diabetes also contributes to the leader in kidney failure, blindness, non-traumatic lower limb amputations, heart disease and stroke (2 out of 3 persons with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke which are the number 1 and 2 causes of death in the US).
This may be surprising news to you, and I am not trying to scare you, but most of us can see the trend happening here in our country if we just take a step back. Food portions are getting larger, and highly processed, packaged foods are becoming more readily available which is aiding in the increase in childhood obesity (some might even call it an epidemic). In 2010, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people 20 years and older and approximately 79 million people were diagnosed with pre-diabetes (blood glucose or A1c levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes). Needless to say, the numbers are not looking good since people with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Do these numbers make you cringe? I haven’t even touched on the medical costs yet. This year we are projected to spend $254 billion(up from 172 billion in 2007) in total medical costs (including medicine, disability, work loss and premature mortality) on diabetes diagnoses. That’s billion…with a “B”. There is a bright side though! The more we know about diseases like diabetes the better we can control, cure and even prevent this from carrying over to future generations. But, we cannot do it alone. Self-management and education is the most important step of improving the health of individuals with diabetes which is why the American Diabetes Association needs your help!
This November, my cycling studio is celebrating our 1 year anniversary by holding a Cycle-a-Thon Charity Ride for Diabetes Awareness. 100% of all proceeds will directly benefit the ADA towards research for the cure and prevention programs like the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). This program has indisputable evidence that lifestyle intervention to lose weight and increase physical activity has reduced the development of type 2 diabetes by 58% during a 3 year span. This was seen even greater in populations of 60 years or older at 71% success rate. These interventions to prevent type 2 diabetes are feasible and cost-effective alternatives to traditional medications.
So what can you do to help? Spread the word about diabetes prevention and management, get tested and make a healthy lifestyle change TODAY! To learn more about diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association website for valuable facts, tips, and information on living with diabetes.
If you want to help us ride for the cure, join us at our cycle-a-thon this November 9th from 9am-1:00pm at Pura Cycling Studio. We will have rides every 45 minutes (switching out instructors and riders) where you can sponsor a bike, or ride for a single class with all proceeds directly benefiting the ADA. Raffle prizes, food, drinks and free schwag will be provided for all participants! To learn more about our event, visit our Facebook event page here. You can contact us directly to reserve your seat or donate via the ADA’s website under our team name as a virtual rider. What will you change this year? Are you living with diabetes or know someone that is? Share your story and join us!
American Diabetes Association - Diabetes Statistics. Updated on August 20th 2013