On Alert for Diabetes: March 25, 2011

The latest numbers are shocking. By 2050, diabetes cases are expected to triple in this country. That means, in just 40 years, we'll go from 1 in 10 diagnosed to 1 in 3. "If you are overweight, obese, certainly that's a risk factor. If you don't exercise regularly, that itself is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes," says Lee Memorial Health System diabetes outpatient coordinator, Sharon Tilbe.

The CDC reports that type 2 diabetes is the most common. A condition that can be reversed, even prevented, with a few simple changes in your lifestyle. The first, get moving. "My goals for people is to simply address the issue of exercise everyday. Get on that bicycle while you are watching the evening news. Get on the treadmill for a few minutes. The more frequently you engage in these small activities, the more likely you are to have it become a habit." The second simple change, make over your menu. "Are you getting a varied diet? Are you including vegetables at least twice a day in your menu planning. Are you using fruits and daily products as part of your snacks?"

Adults aren't the only ones who should be making these changes. "There is an increase in the incidents of childhood obesity and unfortunately, an increase in incidents of younger people with type 2 diabetes," adds Tilbe.

Diabetes is also expensive. It costs the US more than 175 billion dollars each year and that tally is expected to climb.