Diabetes continues to drag down US healthcare

Richard A Meyer
3 min readDec 1, 2023

As we grapple with a growing healthcare crisis driven, in part, by skyrocketing diabetes treatment costs, a study conducted by the CDC projects a potential 700% increase in the number of people under the age of 20 diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by 2060. Today, diabetes is the most expensive chronic condition in America, with estimates suggesting that $1 out of $4 in healthcare is spent on diabetes.

It’s challenging to pinpoint an exact percentage of type 2 diabetes cases solely attributed to poor diet, as multiple factors contribute to the development of this condition. Type 2 diabetes is a complex disease influenced by a combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors, but in the U.S., It’s getting out of control.

The total annual cost of diabetes in 2022 is $412.9 billion, including $306.6 billion in direct medical costs and $106.3 billion in indirect costs. People with diagnosed diabetes now account for one of every four healthcare dollars spent in the U.S.

Poor diet and unhealthy eating habits are recognized as significant contributors to the development of type 2 diabetes. Diets high in refined sugars, saturated and trans fats, and low fiber are associated with an increased risk of developing this condition. Additionally, excess body weight, particularly abdominal obesity, is a well-established risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

While it’s not accurate to assign a specific percentage to the contribution of poor diet alone, it is widely acknowledged that adopting a healthy diet and regular physical activity can play a crucial role in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. Public health initiatives often emphasize the importance of a balanced diet and lifestyle modifications to reduce the risk of developing this condition.

Controlling diabetes rates is a complex challenge due to a multitude of factors, including:

  1. Lifestyle Factors: The prevalence of unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as physical inactivity, poor diet, and obesity, significantly contributes to the rise in diabetes cases. These factors play a crucial role in developing insulin resistance, a key underlying mechanism of type 2 diabetes.
  2. Genetics: While lifestyle factors are the primary drivers of diabetes, genetic…



Richard A Meyer

Marketing and Political thought leader — Writer- Audiophile