/ /

  • linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    The economics of 'diabesity'

    Sugar crash: Diabetes, obesity slowing worker productivity, economic growth

    The worldwide trend for the past few decades is characterized by expansion of the middle class—something that we in the United States consider to be a positive development.

    Blog: Here's how to rid your office of pointless staff meetings

    But the middle class, according to a recent 70-page report by the multinational bank Morgan Stanley, is expanding in more ways than one.1

    “Higher income leads to a higher rate of sugar consumption and more sedentary life,” reports Carmen Nuzzo, a European economist who co-authored the report.

    More from Dr. McDonnell: #Dressgate redux

    Per capita sugar consumption has climbed nearly fivefold over the past century to 53 pounds per year. A huge chunk of humanity finds itself, for the first time, with the income necessary to purchase sweet foods and beverages. As American diets have spread around the world—and pizza has replaced fresh fruits and vegetables as the preferred comestible for teenagers worldwide—a condition known as “diabesity” has become endemic.

    According to the report, some 387 million persons have diabetes, and the emerging markets of the world are disproportionately impacted. Forty percent of patients with diabetes live in China and India, and in many countries, the disease will slow economic growth as diabetic workers lose productivity.

    Even in the United States, with our remarkable medical infrastructure, lost productivity from diabetes in 2012 is calculated at $69 billion.2

    Next: High cost of care

    Peter J. McDonnell, MD
    He is director of The Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and chief medical editor of ...

    New Call-to-action


    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • No comments available


    View Results