Half of All Americans Are Diabetic or Pre-Diabetic

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A new study finds that half of all Americans are either diabetic or pre-diabetic. But there’s supposedly good news lurking there:

After two decades of linear growth, the prevalence of diabetes in the United States has finally started to plateau.

….Herman and Rothberg, who were not involved in the research, said the study suggests the implementation of food, nutrition and physical activity policies and regulations by federal, state and local governments as well as other efforts to curb obesity and diabetes have finally started to pay off.

Color me skeptical. Consider a thought experiment. Suppose we had done nothing about this. No government regulations. No haranguing by doctors. No PR campaigns. Nothing. What would the results be?

At a guess, half the population is naturally prone to eating (more or less) properly and isn’t especially susceptible to diabetes. So if we did nothing at all, I’d wager that about half the population would remain free of diabetes.

This is just a guess, and I doubt there’s any way to prove it one way or another. But it hardly seems like an unreasonable guess. And what it means is that all the regulating and haranguing and advertising has probably accomplished nothing. Maybe it’s time to try something else?

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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