Diabetes, whether you’re ready to admit it or not, is a serious problem in this country. At present, there are reportedly over 23 million individuals currently living with the disease in the United States alone, compared to the 366 million who are affected worldwide. By 2030, it’s expected that 29 million Americans will be combating some form of diabetes, and unless something is done on an individual level, these numbers will continue to grow.
In a new international survey, it was revealed that 82 percent of Americans are aware that being overweight could lead to diabetes down the road. Of those surveyed, 58 percent had a body mass index of over 25, which tosses them directly into the overweight or obese category. Strangely, those who qualified as obese — 29 percent of respondents had a body mass index of at least 30 — 51 percent thought they were in relatively good health. Here’s where things get interesting: 74% of surveyed Americans felt that obesity, diet, and poor physical activity were among the nation’s most alarming health issues. If that’s the case, why aren’t these individuals taking steps to improve their lives?
Dr. Peter Goldbach, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dialog, believes there’s a disconnect between knowing what the risks are and actually taking steps to make a change. “Given their knowledge, people now need to realize that even small steps can make a big difference when it comes to eating better, exercising more regularly, or shedding a few pounds,” he explained. “At Health Dialog we understand the importance of wellness programs that fit easily into people’s lives and are more like fun than like a chore. It’s not about checking a box. It’s about integrating new behaviors little by little into everyday life.”
Although countries such as Great Britain, New Zealand, and Australia understood that obesity could lead to diabetes, those surveyed in China, India, Egypt, Spain, and Hong Kong were less likely to make the connection.