Obesity and diabetes are gradually being recognised as a major threat to the healthcare systems of the near future. Different socio-economic and ethnic groups are perceived as being substantially more at risk than others. For instance, diabetes is rife in the Latino population. One group, united by their actions in war, are significantly more likely to have diabetes than the general population, and measures are being made to tackle the problem early.
The Department of Veterans Affairs combined with the Department of Health and Human Services have announced a co-ordinated campaign in order to educate both veterans and those close to them about how to combat diabetes and obesity.
The generally recognised figure from the ADA (American Diabetes Association) is that 7 per cent of the US population now has diabetes, with an enormous number of pre-diabetics and people suffering from metabolic syndrome. Veterans are statistically more likely than the norm to have diabetes, and a figure of 20 per cent has been reported.
The primary goal of the program is to teach and promote wellness, fitness, good diet and the prevention of chronic disease to the Veteran population. VA medical centres will aim to promote exercise and good diet in local groups set within 40 different communities. The campaign is entitled ‘Healthier US Veterans.’

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