BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Diabetes is a serious chronic condition affecting people all over the world and instances of the illness are increasing. In 2011, 366 million people worldwide had diabetes, and the figure is expected to grow to 552 million by 2030.1 In the United States those numbers are 23 million and 29 million, respectively.2 Yet, when it comes to making lifestyle changes, Americans are falling far short. Despite considerable awareness of the risk factors that are well within their control, Americans are suffering from a “not me” syndrome.
According to a new international survey, released today by Health Dialog and commissioned by parent company Bupa, many Americans are aware that being overweight is a key risk factor for diabetes (82% are aware), yet those at risk are not applying this logic to themselves: 58% of American adults had a body mass index of 25 or over, classifying them as overweight or obese. Overall, 29% of American respondents were actually obese, with a body mass index of 30 or more. More than half of the obese respondents surveyed (51%) considered themselves to be healthy and 43% thought their diets were good.
Paradoxically, nearly three-quarters (74%) of American respondents said obesity, unhealthy diets, or low levels of physical activity constitute the nation’s biggest health issues. More than eight in ten (82%) American respondents knew that being overweight is a risk factor for the development of diabetes. The research showed mirroring trends in Great Britain (84% showing this link), New Zealand (84%) and Australia (82%). Respondents in India (51%), China (52%), Egypt (58%) Spain (60%) and Hong Kong (61%) were far less likely to see being overweight as a risk factor in the development of diabetes.
“There is a startling disconnect between what people know about the risk factors associated with diabetes and what they are actually doing to protect themselves from a health and wellness standpoint,” said Peter Goldbach, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Health Dialog. “Given their knowledge, people now need to realize that even small steps can make a big difference when it comes to eating better, exercising more regularly, or shedding a few pounds. At Health Dialog we understand the importance of wellness programs that fit easily into people’s lives and are more like fun than like a chore. It’s not about checking a box. It’s about integrating new behaviors little by little into everyday life.”
Health Dialog’s WELLNESS Dialog® program engages members in wellness from start to finish, beginning with lifestyle-based predictive models and a first-of-its-kind well-being assessment that identify individuals not only with red-flag risk factors but also yellow flags, so potential symptoms are addressed before they even arrive. Members are then matched with carefully tailored plans that include online learning, games and challenges, behavior change incentives, telephonic health coaching, and chronic condition support, including an award-winning patient decision aid, “Living with Diabetes: Making Lifestyle Changes to Last a Lifetime”.
Ipsos MORI interviewed 14,528 members of the general public aged 18+ across 13 markets (Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Thailand and US) between March 21st and May 2nd, 2012. All interviews took place through Ipsos online panels and Ipsos panel partners.
About Health Dialog Services Corporation:
Health Dialog Services Corporation is a leading provider of healthcare analytics and decision support. The firm is a private, wholly-owned subsidiary of Bupa, a global provider of healthcare services. Health Dialog helps healthcare payors improve healthcare quality while reducing overall costs. Company offerings include health coaching for medical decisions, chronic conditions, and wellness; population analytic solutions; and consulting services. Health Dialog helps individuals participate in their own healthcare decisions, develop more effective relationships with their physicians, and live healthier, happier lives. For more information please visit www.healthdialog.com.
1 International Diabetes Federation, http://www.idf.org/media-events/press-releases/2011/diabetes-atlas-5th-edition.
2 International Diabetes Federation, http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas/5e/the-global-burden.