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Letter from the Editor: New Reports, Starbuck’s Trenta and the Need for More Clinicians

New reports over the past couple of weeks tell a lot about our health. First it was 1 in 3 Americans have either prediabetes or diabetes and then we got news that over 50% of us are either obese or overweight. Last week the CDC released information that over 25% of us take statins, the FDA lowered the BMI limit for gastric bypass and lapbands again, and a new study from the U.K. points out that obesity increases your risk of fatal CHF regardless of other factors.

Yet with all this evidence we keep fighting a losing battle against the food purveyors in this country and the world. Last week it was the 52 oz. soda with 125 grams of sugar and carbs and this week Starbuck’s introduced their trenta size ice drinks. These new 31 oz. iced drinks are 33% bigger than the venti size and if you choose the White Chocolate Mocha Latte you get a whopping 670 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 120 grams of carbs in every cup. If only there was a law that for every food commercial on TV there had to be a health message.

Maybe some of those health messages we would want on TV would be about physical activity. A few years ago there was a bike that hooked up to your Nintendo and you had to pedal to make Mario run faster. Wouldn’t it be great if our patients had to turn a crank or pedal to watch Judge Judy? Speaking of getting moving, this week our resident activity guru Sheri Colberg, Ph.D., FACSM, points out that all of us benefit if we Get Our Kids Moving, Too.

All of these factors are driving a need for more clinicians to take care of patients and we can’t seem to educate physicians, pharmacists, nurses, or PA’s fast enough. In fact, in the National Salary Report 2010, released by the publishers of ADVANCE Newsmagazines, salaries for NP ‘s and PA’s have risen over 25% in the past 10 years and the outlook for the next 8 years calls for a 39% increase in PA employment and a 22% increase in NP opportunities.

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Many of you have helped patients avert diabetes disasters and we can all learn from them. (See our Safety and Error Prevention Topic page for a complete list.) If you have a “disaster averted” then send it in and if we use it in our Diabetes Clinical Mastery Series you will receive a Visa Gift Card worth $50.00. So far, we’ve sent out almost $1,000 worth of Gift Cards! Click here to let us know the details. (You can use your name or remain anonymous if you prefer.)

Announcements:

dLife.com: February 13, 7PM ET on CNBC

Topics: A profile of diabetes device pioneer Al Mann; injecting insulin made easy; and Chef Michel Nischan in the dLife kitchen. Sundays on CNBC at 7 PM ET, 6 PM CT, and 4 PM PT. Catch up on dLife.com.

TCOYD Conference and Health Fair, Honolulu, Hawaii, March 5, 2011

The TCOYD team will be in Honolulu this March with Special Sam Choy, Hawaii’s Cooking Ambassador, and Bo Irvine, “Hawaiian King of Comedy.” Event includes: state-of-the-art technologies and advances in diabetes care; afternoon workshops; and physical activities for everyone.

Please answer this week’s poll (in the right-hand column): When a patient is diagnosed with prediabetes, your first treatment recommendation is…?

View last week’s poll results.

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Check out this week’s “Test Your Diabetes Knowledge” question!

Dave Joffe, Editor-in-chief