We’ve become a diabetic community. Arkansas is ranked 5th and Oklahoma 8th in the nation for this disease.
There are about 364,000 known cases of diabetes in Arkansas with another 75,000 most likely to have the disease and not know it. Add to that the 797,000 Arkansans that have higher than normal readings and you can easily see that this is a problem of epidemic proportions.
Diabetes costs the State of Arkansas $2.3B in direct medical expenses annually.
Regionally, known cases of diabetes exceed 80,000!
West Central Arkansas: 26,533
Northwest Arkansas: 34,098
East Central Oklahoma: 9,287
Northwest Oklahoma: 10,534
Nearly 2/3rds of those who KNOW they have the disease are still eating less than one service of fruits/veggies a day.
Age and education levels are the largest indicators of prevalence. One in four Arkansans eventually end up with the disease. One in seven without a high school diploma or equivalent end up with the disease.
Obesity should not be ‘natural’ in the Natural State. And yet, Arkansas is currently the #1 state in the nation for Adult Obesity with a rate of 35.9% — more than one-third of us are considered obese. It’s a problem that begins in childhood and by the age of 18, 23.9% of young adults are obese. The rate of obesity grows to 41.7% for those aged 44 thru 64, which is a rate higher than two out of five. The disease is more chronic in Americans of African or Latin American descent.
Along with obesity, comes other life shortening conditions such a hypertension, heart disease and obesity-related cancer.