August 21, 2008

Mr. Diabetes(R) Says Prevention is Best Solution for Diabetes Epidemic

MIAMI, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- For the past eight years Andy Mandell -- Mr. Diabetes(R) has been a man with one mission: he's been walking the 10,000 mile perimeter of the United States raising awareness about the dangers of diabetes and letting people know they can prevent it from happening to them.

Mandell established Defeat Diabetes Foundation ( and formulated his walk on the premise that the best course to dealing with diabetes was preventing it in the first place! "We know how to profile those at risk for the disease, and as many as 95% of all cases of Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented by knowing your risk factors and paying attention to your weight, level of physical activity and nutrition," said Mandell.

Now, at the 9,700 mile mark of his 10,000 mile Wake Up and Walk(R) Tour, a report released by the Trust for America's Health bears out Mandell's assessment that prevention efforts, and money spent on them, can produce positive results and a significant return on investment for communities.

"I've said for years that much of the money for the search for a cure for diabetes could be better spent on preventing the disease in the first place," he continued. "Type 2 diabetes is a highly preventable disease, but people need to be provided the information and resources to attain a healthy lifestyle," he concluded.

Many communities lack access to fresh fruits and vegetables, grocery stores, recreational facilities, information about nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Intervention in these areas could reap massive rewards and returns on investment as high as 5:1 in just 5 years. Prevention efforts could be crucial to avoid bankrupting the medical system in the U.S. with the long term costs of diabetes.

The incidence of diabetes in the U.S. has risen to 24 million, an additional 57 million people at risk for developing the disease. "The only number that is the least bit encouraging in the new CDC statistics is the number of undiagnosed diabetics has declined to one third. I'd like to believe that after 8 years on the road with THE WALK(TM), tens of thousands of personal contacts and tens of millions seeing the message in the media that we're beginning to have a serious impact. But we can, and must, go further" said Mandell.

Defeat Diabetes Foundation

CONTACT: Dawn Swidorski of Defeat Diabetes Foundation, +1-415-671-2991,[email protected]

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