The American population is experiencing an explosion in Type II diabetes, largely in response to the epidemic of obesity. This national trend of increasing prevalence of obesity and diabetes is especially magnified in Arkansas, which has consistently been ranked as among the most “unhealthy states” in the country.
The cost of caring for diabetes and obesity is enormous due to the numerous complications, including heart disease, renal disease, blindness, amputations, etc. Obesity and diabetes are particularly prevalent in minority populations which have traditionally not enjoyed good access to medical care.
Finally, the increasing prevalence of obesity in children has now lead to the frequent diagnosis of impaired glucose tolerance and type II diabetes in this population, an entity that was essentially non-existent 20 years ago.