Jennifer Lovejoy, PhD, Senior Vice President, Clinical Development & Support
According to the American Diabetes Association, 105 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes today. Unless we change course, by 2050, 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes.
The association between obesity and Type 2 diabetes is well known. Over 80% of individuals diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (formerly called adult onset diabetes) are overweight or obese. Obesity causes insulin resistance, a condition where the hormone insulin is ineffective at moving sugar from the bloodstream into the cells. In genetically susceptible individuals, insulin resistance combined with too little insulin secretion leads to diabetes. Obesity also increases whole-body inflammation, which is a primary cause of many of the complications of diabetes, including cardiovascular disease, nerve damage and kidney disease.
Both basic and clinical diabetes research are essential if we are going to stem the tide of the diabetes epidemic and reduce the public health burden. Type 2 diabetes is very costly to treat and, because of its tight association with obesity, is one of the drivers of the $190 billion in annual U.S. healthcare expenditures associated with obesity. Recent reductions in federal funding for research, coupled with limited research resources from the private sector, have created a very difficult situation for diabetes researchers who are working to find cures for this devastating disease.
With this in mind, I urge you to visit Stop Diabetes of the American Diabetes Association and sign their petition urging Congress to invest in diabetes research.
Dr. Jennifer Lovejoy is Senior Vice President of Clinical Development & Support at Alere Wellbeing and past president of the Obesity Society. Dr. Lovejoys clinical research program has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and NASA. Read other blog posts by Jennifer Lovejoy.
Visit www.alerewellbeing.com to learn about Alere Wellbeings Weight Talk® personal coaching program and the Accomplish® Program, a nutritional and lifestyle counseling program exclusively for weight loss surgery patients.