Defining Challenges

A disease-based, doctor-centered medicine served us well for the first half of the 20th century, but economic pressures and a changing population are revealing its shortcomings.

Obesity & The Rise of Chronic Illness

In 1995, the percentage of obese adults in the U.S. was about 16 percent. Today, it has roughly doubled to over 30 percent. Being obese (having a Body Mass Index of 30 or over) increases a person’s risk of developing an array of chronic conditions such as heart disease and some cancers. But obesity’s connection to chronic illness can be seen most clearly in diabetes, the body’s inability to regulate blood sugar. Being obese puts a patient at 7 times higher risk of developing Type II diabetes (the most common form) and  80 percent of individuals with Type 2 diabetes are considered obese. As a result, the rise in obesity over the last 20 years has been closely shadowed by a rise in diabetes.  In the interactive map below, you can slide through the years 1995 to 2013 and see the state-by-state change in obesity and diabetes. Hover over individual states to find out exact numbers for a particular year. Data source: CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Finding Solutions

With chronic disease on the rise, U.S. health care costs skyrocketing and the old model of medicine failing to provided solutions, many are calling for a 'patient-centered' approach to health care.