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Today's children have a life expectancy shorter than their parents.
For the first time in two centuries, the current generation of children in America may have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, according to a report published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The report tells us that the rapid rise in childhood obesity could shorten life spans by as much as five years.
The severity of obesity in our country is so great that the complications and diseases associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, strike people at younger and younger ages.
Until recently, the most common form of diabetes, type 2, was a disease generally developed by people over the age of 40, took years to develop, and was often caused by years of excess weight, inactivity and poor diet. Today children as young as the age of 10 are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes - children who are overweight, spend most of their time in front of a computer or TV, and have a poor diet lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables.
The total cost of diabetes for people in West Virginia in 2006 is estimated at $998,600,000. This estimate includes excess medical costs of $695,000,000 attributed to diabetes, and lost productivity valued at $303,600,000. This information is published on the American Diabetes Association Web site.
Update in 2012: The estimated total economic cost of diagnosed diabetes [in the United States] in 2012 is $245 billion, a 41% increase from our previous estimate of $174 billion (in 2007 dollars). This estimate highlights the substantial burden that diabetes imposes on society. Additional components of societal burden omitted from our study include intangibles from pain and suffering, resources from care provided by nonpaid caregivers, and the burden associated with undiagnosed diabetes. Read entire report.
Learn more about diabetes. Did you know that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness?
According to the American Lung Association smoking-related diseases (such as heart disease, lung cancer, asthma and allergies) claim an estimated 430,700 American lives each year. Learn more about Asthma and Allergies on this Web site.
Learn more about Advocacy in Action on this Web site.
Let's all make a commitment to a better life for ourselves and our children.
This article was researched, written and provided by Nancy Massey, MasseyNet.com, Inc., Web site developer for Mountatin State Centers for Independent Living.
Updated: May 9, 2013