Every year, over 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report 20204:
- Just over one in 10 Americans have diabetes
- For adults diagnosed with diabetes 89% were overweight, 38% were physically inactive and 15% were smokers
- Newly diagnosed cases of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have significantly increased among U.S. youth
Even more alarming is the 88 million American adults with prediabetes (blood sugar levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes) – and eight out of 10 don’t know they have it. Without lifestyle change, many of these individuals will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.2
If this trend continues, it will result in an enormous economic burden for employers. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. is $327 billion per year. This includes direct medical costs and the dollars lost from reduced productivity due to illness and disability.3
The average working adult spends thousands of hours at work each year, but rarely or never visits their doctor. This represents an opportunity for employers to use the workplace to engage employees in their health and encourage a proactive approach to prevention and effective management of conditions such as diabetes.
Research has shown that interventions involving weight, diet and physical activity are key in preventing, delaying onset and/or controlling type 2 diabetes and can result in substantial long term savings in health care costs for both employees and employers. Additional cost savings can be realized when individuals diagnosed with diabetes are given the tools and resources they need to better manage their conditions.4