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The $174 Billion Question: How to Reduce Diabetes and Obesity

Friday, July 23, 2010

Diabetes and obesity have evolved from a national public health concern to a problem of epidemic proportions. Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity and physical inactivity, accounts for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases for people over 40. Moreover, in 2007 an estimated 57 million American adults had “pre-diabetes,” the precursor to diabetes. Childhood obesity, which has more than tripled in the last three years, impacts these numbers because obese children are at greater risk of developing diabetes as an adult.

Costs associated with diabetes exceeded $174 billion in 2007. Prevention, treatment and management of the condition are primarily based on health behaviors, so it can be challenging to identify effective treatment and prevention efforts.

What models exist to prevent and manage diabetes, and how can they be more widely implemented? How long will it take to identify programs that are proven effective? Is there evidence that improved treatment of diabetes can reduce costs? Or will it increase costs? How can we identify those at risk as children so that they can be taught healthy behaviors, encouraged to engage in more active lifestyles, and supported in these efforts.

To address these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and the United Health Foundation sponsored a July 23 briefing. Panelists were: Lynne Vaughn of the YMCA, Robert Berenson of the Urban Institute and Ron Ackermann of the Indiana University School of Medicine. Ed Howard of the Alliance and Deneen Vojta of the UnitedHealth Group co-moderated.


 Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
 Deneen Vojta, UnitedHealth Group, Moderator
 Lynne Vaughn, YMCA, Speaker
 Robert Berenson, Urban Institute, Speaker
 Ron Ackermann, Indiana University School of Medicine, Speaker
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: The $174 Billion Question: How to Reduce Diabetes and Obesity (Word Document), 7/27/2010
Full Webcast/Podcast: The $174 Billion Question: How to Reduce Diabetes and Obesity

The full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Ronald Ackermann's Powerpoint Presentation (PowerPoint), 7/23/2010
Lynne Vaughan's Powerpoint Presentation (PowerPoint), 7/23/2010
Event Summary (Word Document), 7/27/2010
Deneen Vojta's Powerpoint Presentation (PowerPoint), 7/23/2010

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Diabetes Materials List (Word Document), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/22/2010
Speakers Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/22/2010
Selected Experts List (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/22/2010
Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/22/2010
National Experts Advocate for Mandatory Prevention Funding To Be Spent on National Diabetes Prevention Programming and the YMCA’S Diabetes Prevention Program (YDPP) (Adobe Acrobat PDF), The Y, 7/22/2010
- This 2 page document provides news clippings that usher support for the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program
Potential Roles for Policy Makers in Developing a National Diabetes Prevention Plan (Adobe Acrobat PDF), The Y, 7/21/2010
- This one page document provides policy suggestions for developing a nation-wide effort to reduce the prevelance of diabetes and provide better diabetes care.

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Diabetes Prevention Program, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Insittue of Health, 10/1/2008
- This 6 page document outlines the basic methodology and results of the Diabetes Prevention Program study, as well as the future implications of the program's success
Diabetes Statistics, American Diabetes Association, 1/1/2007
- A basic Diabetes fact and statistics sheet from the American Diabetes Association
Innovations in Preventing and Managing Chronic Conditions: What's Working in the Real World (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Center for Studying Health System Change, 6/1/2010
- This Issue Brief outlines how investing in wellness and prevention programs may help lower the costs for both insurance companies and employers.
Insurers Tout Disease Management Programs, but Critics Are Wary, The Washington Post, 7/20/2010
- This article draws skepticism to the potential for success of disease management programs, by taking a closer look of factors that may differ between programs.
Insurers Tout Disease Management Programs, but Critics Are Wary, The Washington Post, 7/20/2010
- This article draws skepticism to the potential for success of disease management programs, by taking a closer look of factors that may differ between programs.
Kentucky Town of Manchester Illustrates National Obesity Crisis, Washington Post, 7/12/2010
- This article provides an in-depth look at the health and living conditions of a family living in Manchester, Kentuck; a town ranked as the least healthy in Kentucky with a 24% adult obesity rate.
Michelle Obama: ‘Let’s Move’ on Childhood Obesity, Washington Post, 2/10/2010
- This short article announces the first lady's "Let's Move" campaign and outlines how the program envisions fighting the childhood obesity epidemic facing the nation.
Sebelius Announces New $250 Million Investment to Lay Foundation for Prevention and Public Health, Business Wire, 6/18/2010
- A compilation of fact sheets, this article describes how the newly created National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council will divide the Prevention and Public Health fund for the 2010 fiscal year.
Telemedicine-Based Diabetes Management Program Focusing on Education and Eye Exams Improves Self-Management Capabilities and Outcomes for Low-Income Rural Patients, The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality , 4/1/2009
- A 7-page innovation profile that outlines the procedure and results of a diabetes management program that used regular check-ins with patients to improve the self-management behaviors and reduce the blood glucouse and cholesterol levels of patients
Translating the Diabetes Prevention Program into the Community: The DEPLOY Pilot Study, American Journal of Preventive Medicine , 10/1/2008
- This study evaluates the efficacy of a Diabetes Prevention Program type management program within the YMCA. The results find that the YMCA appears a promising venue for future disease management programs
Diabebtes Successes and Opportunities for Population Based Prevention and Control, CDC, 1/1/2010
- This CDC document provides an overview of the diabetes disease and those affected by diabetes.The doocument also notes some current programs around the country geared towards improving diabetes management.
Diabetes Successes and Opportunities for Population Based Prevention and Control, CDC, 4/8/2010
- This short piece provides a brief overview of basic diabetes information and examples of disease management programs nation-wides
Tipping the Scales Against Diabetes, Pre-Diabetes, and Obesity in the U.S., July 20, 2010 (Adobe Acrobat PDF),UnitedHealth Group, 7/21/2010
- This fact-sheet not only provides bullet points regarding the high costs and prevelance of diabetes and pre-diabetes, but also offers advice on how to begin reversing the diabetes epidemic.


Deneen Vojta of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization outlined the seriousness of the diabetes epidemic in the U.S. at the July 23 briefing co-sponsored by the United Health Foundation. (9 min.)

Ronald Ackermann of Indiana University Medical School described a lifestyle intervention program that helped 58 percent of pre-diabetic participants avoid developing the disease, at the July 23 briefing cosponsored by the United Health Foundation. (12 min.)

Lynne Vaughan, senior vice president of the YMCA of the USA, explained the Y's efforts in diabetes prevention, at the July 23 briefing cosponsored by the United Health Foundation. (14 min.) 

Robert Berenson of the Urban Institute said disease management programs need to target very specific populations and have reachable goals in order to be successful. From the July 23 briefing cosponsored by the United Health Foundation. (13 min.)


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