No, not as in “Horton Hears a…” (been there, done that). Rather, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced last month that it’s initiating a study on the economic impact of diabetes “for a world-wide implementation model for controlling the disease.”
I suppose it’s wrong to be excited about the fact that diabetes is no longer considered a “lifestyle disease” of affluent countries, but rather now ranks as one of the world’s most serious non-communicable diseases. They are now talking about 366 million diabetes patients world-wide by 2030 -– including 1 in 7 people in Korea, and 1 in 7 people in Puerto Rico. Geez! Naturally, I’m not happy about this, but the huge economic impact this disease is having on countries like India, China, and Africa means Orange Alert across the globe. And the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
The International Diabetes Foundations’ “Diabetes Action Now” is teaching people in low- and middle-income countries to treat and prevent diabetes through simple measures like healthy eating and physical activity. They’re hoping to prevent millions of cases with this intervention. With just a little tweaking to focus on sedentary lifestyle and anti-overeating, imagine what such a broad intervention program could do for the US!
Meanwhile, my 7-year-old brought home a crayoned picture of the Food Pyramid among her other school papers yesterday. “What’s this?,” I asked. “Oh, some science stuff,” she said. Hmm, I’d say a good third of the kids in her school are overweight. How about a program to teach kids to turn the Four Food Groups concept into practice?