“Americans are sicker and die younger than people in other wealthy nations.”
Dr. Francine Kaufman has seen the incidence of diabetes skyrocket in the last 30 years. The pediatric endocrinologist is director of the Comprehensive Childhood Diabetes Center at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, and she says the disease's local increase is part of a worldwide phenomenon. Now Kaufman is turning to the small screen to bring attention to this global epidemic in a one-hour, commercial-free Discovery Health documentary narrated by actress Glenn Close, "Diabetes: A Global Epidemic," on Sunday, Nov. 18.
Twenty parents from the Emek Hebrew Academy in Valley Village have come on a chilly winter evening to hear Dr. Francine Kaufman, a national expert on diabetes and childhood obesity, talk about promoting children's health. Although the school has 455 families, Rabbi Sholom Strajcher, the school's dean, is not discouraged by the modest turnout.
Obesity is the fastest growing health threat in this country, currently on track to overtake tobacco as No. 1.
Obesity has reached record rates among children and adults, bringing with it increased risk for developing diabetes and related health problems. In addition to the more than 18 million Americans currently living with diabetes, another 41 million are considered prediabetic, and are likely to develop the disease unless they take action.
In her new book, "Diabesity: The Obesity-Diabetes Epidemic That Threatens America -- And What We Must Do to Stop It" (Bantam), Dr. Francine R. Kaufman describes how reversing these trends requires efforts from all levels of society.
In "An Army of One" (Jan. 24), The Jewish Journal states, "he can count the times he's missed a deadline on the fingers of one hand."