Every once in a while, the great “powers that be” come up with something so ridiculous and so grade-school-ish it makes me wonder who put these clowns in charge of our health. I’m about to give you another example. Read what these “experts” wrote (in italics), and I’ll give you my thoughts on their latest initiative…
The American Medical Association (AMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are taking urgent steps to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes, they announced at a teleconference held March 12.
Oh boy, here we go.
Prevent Diabetes STAT: Screen, Test, Act – Today, is a multiyear initiative that builds on work the CDC and AMA have already begun to identify more Americans with prediabetes and stop its progression to type 2 diabetes.
I’ve been talking about the diabesity epidemic to anyone and everyone who will listen for two decades. And now…finally…they want to do something about it STAT (which in medical parlance means “right away”)?
“This isn’t just a concern — it’s a crisis,” AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, said at the teleconference. “It’s not only taking a physical and emotional toll on people living with prediabetes but it also takes an economic toll on our country. More than $245 billion each year in healthcare spending and reduced productivity is directly linked to diabetes. The AMA and CDC believe it’s time to bring an end to these dismal statistics.”
You think? Yet, insurance companies refuse to pay for treatment from doctors (like myself) who look at preventing illness or who discuss diet and nutrition in their practices. Doctors (like myself) who take time with their patients to counsel them about complete health and wellness.
More than 86 million Americans have prediabetes, and almost 90% of them are unaware of it. One of three individuals are at risk for developing it in their lifetime…
And that’s precisely why I test all of my patients with a simple blood test called HgBA1c. This test tells you how well controlled your blood sugar has been for the past six weeks. And it’s an invaluable tool for helping patients combat prediabetes and diabetes. Yet, often, insurance companies don’t want to pay for it.
“It’s time that the nation comes together to take immediate action to help prevent diabetes before it starts,” Dr. Wah said in the release. “To address and reverse this alarming national trend, America needs frontline physicians and other health care professionals as well as key stakeholders such as employers, insurers, and community organizations to mobilize and create stronger linkages between the care delivery system, our communities, and the patients we serve.”
Please note that food manufacturers were left out of this discussion entirely. More on that later.
In 2012, the CDC began its National Diabetes Prevention Program, which was based on research led by the National Institutes of Health. That research showed that high-risk individuals who took part in lifestyle change programs, such as those recognized by the CDC, experienced a significant reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
DUH—eating well and exercising cures diabetes. It took them until 2012 to figure this out?
In 2013, the AMA started its Improving Health Outcomes initiative, focused on preventing both type 2 diabetes and heart disease. That effort included partnering with the US YMCA to increase the number of physicians who screen individuals for prediabetes and refer them to diabetes prevention programs at local YMCAs that participate in the CDC’s recognition program.
The partnership included 11 physician practice pilot sites in Florida, Delaware, Indiana, and Minnesota, where care teams helped the AMA and CDC develop a toolkit for physicians and other healthcare providers.
Seriously? Let me save them the time—and millions of dollars—it will take them to develop this so-called “toolkit.” Preventing diabetes and heart disease really only takes a few simple “tools”:
1.) get off the couch for at least a 15-minute walk every day
2.) cut sugar and processed, refined carbohydrates
Unfortunately, that second tool isn’t likely to be included in the new “toolkit.” Take it from my cousin who is in the organic food business. He told me that his costs just keep going up and up because his company uses only US-grown foods, and the amount of land under organic cultivation in the US keeps declining, thanks to power plays by greedy corporate interests.
Our country is so unbelievably hypocritical when it comes to health, and this “STAT” initiative is insulting. Until we have a system where it is easier to eat healthy by making those foods more readily available, we are doomed.
If you really want to know how to stave off prediabetes and diabetes, check out the archives on www.drpescatore.com to search for more specific recommendations. (Simply click on the “Subscriber sign-in” tab at the top of the page and enter your username and password.) You can also find all of my books and feature editorial reports on the website, which offer a wealth of information on preventing—and even reversing—diabetes and all of its consequences. All of the information you’ll find in my articles, books, and reports is backed by real science that will really help you beat diabetes.
“’Prevent Diabetes STAT’ Initiative Announced by AMA, CDC.” Medscape Medical News, 3/12/15