The Staggering Costs of Diabetes - Sanz Solutions Health and Longevity

The Staggering Costs of Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) released new research on March 22, 2018 estimating the total costs of diagnosed diabetes have risen to $327 billion in 2017 from $245 billion in 2012, when the cost was last examined.

This figure represents a 26% increase over a five-year period.

The study, Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2017, was commissioned by the ADA and addresses the increased financial burden, health resources used, and lost productivity associated with diabetes in 2017. The study includes a detailed breakdown of costs along gender, racial, and ethnic lines, and also includes a breakdown of costs on a state-by-state basis.


My thoughts…

I’ll preface my thoughts by adding that I will be writing about type 2 diabetes. We do see a significant cost from type 1 diabetes but it usually accounts for a higher percentage of the cost in children and young adults.

The cost to our country from diabetes really is astounding; financially, mentally and physically. And the worst part is, in most cases, it’s 100% preventable and reversible. Diet and exercise can reverse insulin resistance, improve metabolic function and decrease weight. These benefits can play a roll in getting diabetics off of expensive insulins and brand name oral drugs. They can also lower blood glucose and A1C more than any drug on the market. Most importantly, this will keep people out of the hospital and put less of a stress on our healthcare system.


The ADA states that health care providers should focus on the key factors that are common among the patterns: 1) emphasize nonstarchy vegetables, 2) minimize added sugars and refined grains, and 3) choose whole foods over highly processed foods to the extent possible

My thoughts…

The best prescription for diabetics and prediabetics is to focus on eating foods that are in their natural form; vegetables, nuts, seeds, meats, fish, and fruits, in this order; eating a full spectrum of them at levels that support exercise but not body fat. Exercise should be done most days


The CDC currently recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, or 75 minutes per week of rigorous activity, such as running. Adults are also advised to take part in “muscle building activities,” such as lifting weights, at least 2 days a week.

The ADA recommends most adults with type 2 diabetes should engage in 150 min or more of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, spread over at least 3 days/week, with no more than 2 consecutive days without activity. Shorter durations (minimum 75 min/week) of vigorous-intensity or interval training may besufficient for younger and more physically fit individuals.

Adults should engage in 2–3 sessions/week of resistance exercise on nonconsecutive days. All adults, and particularly those with type 2 diabetes, should decrease the amount of time spent in daily sedentary behavior. Prolonged sitting should be interrupted every 30 min for blood glucose benefits.

Flexibility training and balance training are recommended 2–3 times/week for older adults with diabetes. Yoga and tai chi may be included based on individual preferences to increase flexibility, muscular strength, and balance.

Evaluate baseline physical activity and sedentary time. Promote increase in non sedentary activities above baseline forsedentary individuals with type type 2 diabetes. Examples include walking, yoga, housework, gardening, swimming, and dancing.

My thoughts…

I agree with the CDC and ADA here. 150 min of weekly exercise is more than the average adult is doing. And for most people this is a good starting point, considering most people will be starting from a sedentary lifestyle. Even breaking up these movements to 10 minutes 3 times a day, 5 days per week is a great start.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.