Over the past three decades, the number of Americans with diabetes has more than tripled. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
- One in three adults in the U.S. has diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 – 95% of all cases
- More than one-third of adults in the U.S. are considered obese, one of the primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes
Even more alarming is the 84 million American adults with prediabetes (blood sugar levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes) – and nine out of 10 don’t know they have it. Without lifestyle change, many of these individuals will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.1
If this trend continues, it will result in an enormous economic burden for employers. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), diabetes and prediabetes cost the U.S. $322 billion each year. This includes the cost of lost 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