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Published on Jun 16, 2011
The South Texas border region is victim to many social ills. Largely defined by poverty, corruption, narco and human trafficking, this forgotten part of Texas is facing a threat greater than all the others combined. A threat so deeply rooted in the community that it is on the verge of becoming commonplace.
The impacts and human toll of this threat will be catastrophic for the community and the health care system that serves it. Diabetes and its primary cause obesity are on track to devastate generations of Americans. The Centers for Disease Control estimate by the year 2050 close to 30% of the US population will suffer from this silent killer. This estimate shocked the US health care establishment and ushered in calls to change the two critical elements for health: diet and exercise.
Today, the reality of 30% of a population living with diabetes can be observed along the South Texas border and within rural Texas populations. During the first several months into researching and recording interviews for the documentary film: "2050 Today: The Diabetes Epidemic Along the South Texas Border," two primary culprits have surfaced in every interview we conducted among health care stakeholders. The Food Stamp program and what our schools are serving our children are killing many of them, slowly overtime.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the direct and indirect costs of diabetes were about $174 billion in 2007. These costs are further compounded by $58 billion dollars in estimated lost productivity due to diabetes. The CDC has also concluded that people with diabetes, on average, have medical expenditures that are 2.3 times higher compared to people without diabetes. Our healthcare system simply cannot support an ever-expanding population of people with diabetes.