The Price Society Pays for Diabetes

The overall cost of diabetes on society is greater than the dollars and cents spent to treat and care for patients.

A new study from researchers at Yale suggests that the disease, which currently affects nearly 8 percent of the U.S. population, could have significant nonmedical costs to society as well.

The study, which appears in the January issue of the policy journal Health Affairs, suggests that young people diagnosed with the disease are more likely to drop out of high school and to forgo or fail to finish college. As a result, they’re likely to earn less than those without diabetes.

Five Key Ways to Prevent Diabetes

People who manage to stay healthy and diabetes free as they age share some healthy habits.

The five key traits they share represent healthy habits which anyone can incorporate into their daily routine.

Normal weight They were not overweight or obese, and maintained a body mass index below 25 (a threshold equivalent to 155 pounds for a 5-foot, 6-inch woman).

Nonsmoking They had never been regular smokers, or they’d been smoke-free for at least 10 years.

Physically active They got at least 20 minutes of heart-pounding, sweat-inducing exercise three or more times per week.

Healthy diet They consumed a diet with lots of fiber, little trans fat, few refined or sugary carbohydrates, and a high ratio of good (polyunsaturated) to bad (saturated) fats.

Little to no drinking They used alcohol in moderation, if at all — two drinks or less a day for men, and one drink or less for women.

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