The US obesity epidemic is costing Americans more and more each year. It’s not just the decreased quality of life that it causes, but it causes a whole host of downstream problems like diabetes and circulatory problems. Type 2 diabetes had been a disease of folks over 40 that became seriously overweight over time- but it’s increasingly becoming a pediatric disease. The Medicaid, Medicare and regular private insurance treatment costs for Type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing- and becoming not just an epidemic- but a financial crisis as well.
Researchers from the journal Diabetes Care published a paper recently http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/12/2225.full that projects that over the next 25 years, the number of Americans with diabetes will increase from 24 million to 44 million. During the same time period, annual spending related to diabetes is expected to increase from the current $113 billion to $336 billion (in constant $2007).
The health care costs for treating diabetes in AZ today is about $2 Billion dollars annually- and if we don’t do something about this epidemic with a better diet and exercise, the costs will be nearly $7 Billion annually in AZ- again in constant dollars.
Now pause for a second and take a breath… the out year costs for treating diabetes nationally are projected to be almost half the size of the financial bailout or the ARRA stimulus package every year (if we don’t do something about this epidemic).