Yep, as part of this challenge, I did blood work which showed I was on the high side of normal for my blood sugar … just a ½ point away from being pre-diabetic! And by BMI standards, I am overweight. The risk of coronary heart disease, ischemic strokes, certain types of cancers and Alzheimer’s all increase with obesity. None of us want to go into a health crisis being overweight, obese or morbidly obese.
Second only to smoking, obesity is the second leading risk factor to premature death. Obesity will also cause a cascade of negative events for most at the end of life. According to WHO, nearly 40% of the world’s population are overweight or obese. Those stats are expected to climb to 60%. I’ve noticed larger chairs in the doctor’s office and ER. Hospital beds, Hoyer lifts and wheelchairs are all redesigned to assist in transfer of obese patients. The whole medical profession seems to accommodate for our growing body mass index, while only beginning to go to the source of the problem.
The good news … and there is some, “diabesity” is preventable and in some cases reversible!
While doing research for this HealthSpan Challenge, I have watched along with many of you about the promising results of Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro and now Zepbound for the epidemic of “diabesity”. Sadly, these drugs are very expensive, costing over $1000 a month and not covered by insurance. Even Contrave, which is an oral version, is nearly $300 a month in Australia. While the medical researchers and insurers sort this out, there is an affordable and safe alternative.
In the world of longevity research, one name has been making headlines in recent years: Metformin. This commonly prescribed diabetes medication is generating considerable interest for its potential role in extending not only our lifespan but also our HealthSpan – the years spent in good health and focus of our current challenge. But before we jump on the Metformin bandwagon, it’s crucial to separate fact from fiction and understand the current state of research.