No More Excuses: Managing the Health Crisis

In the battle against obesity and diabetes, Dr. Reed Tuckson says we can win. He’s attacking from all sides

Another barrier: We know that one of the great ways to prevent diabetes is to exercise regularly and, once again, we’re not taking the time to work out. We’re busy, but we’re putting health considerations lower on the totem pole. Despite having the information, the world gets very complicated and it becomes more difficult to put the information into action the way you should. Having said that, there really is no good excuse. This is within our control and it’s ultimately up to us to decide to make a difference. If we don’t decide to make it for ourselves, then we at least have to make it for our children. We are dooming our children to a life where they are going to be experiencing not only high levels of diabetes and its complications with obesity, but both together lead to heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations. These are really serious. If we don’t do it for ourselves, we’ve got to cut the excuses out for our children.

Through testing and research, what have we learned about the disease?
There are three things that we understand today better than we ever have: We clearly understand the devastation of the complications of diabetes. It is an extraordinarily important risk factor or causative factor for heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations.

Number two: We know that prevention works. For example, people with pre-diabetes, people who have the risk factors for diabetes—not the full-blown disease—[who] lose 5% of their body weight can reduce the conversion to full-blown diabetes by almost 60%. This is really encouraging information. That actually says that you can do something about this. You have control over it—and that’s exciting.

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