I was honored recently with the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center’s Leadership Award on behalf of Merisant’s work to combat and raise awareness of diabetes.
I am humbled and appreciative to my 450+ colleagues at Merisant who serve as an army dedicated to helping diabetics enjoy sweet tastes without worrying about the problems associated with sugar. I shared the award with those who deliver exemplary care to diabetes patients and who seek breakthrough advances to combat this chronic disease and its complications. They are the real leaders.
Through our Equal brand, we fund Diabetes Education programs to include Care Coordination, an outreach program that helps diabetics manage their disease conditions better. Diabetes is a sinister disease because it brings with it varying and insidious complications. That explains why outreach programs like these are so invaluable – but difficult — because you must help each diabetic individually to educate them about their own particular situation, their own disease and their own set of complications.
Merisant has been pleased to partner with Kingsbrook, theAmerican Diabetes Association and similar organizations. Yet our fight against diabetes appears to only get harder. You may know the situation – and the startling statistics – as well as I do. Diabetes has gotten out of control, not only in the United States but throughout the world. Right now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that one of three Americans born in 2000 will develop diabetes. As for our planet, an estimated 350 million people worldwide have diabetes and the World Health Organization figures that deaths from the disease will double between 2005 and 2030.
As for the U.S., one-in-12 Americans has diabetes. That’s nearly 26 million of us. And nearly 80 million other Americans are prediabetic. Last year, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in Americans 20 years old and above. And the costs of treating diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. have skyrocketed; totaling $174 B in 2007.
As makers of sugar substitutes, Merisant has believed for more than 20 years that we must help lead in the diabetes cause. As a result, our Equal brand has contributed millions of dollars over the years in support of diabetes-related initiatives. Equal, for instance, has been an ADA sponsor for 10 years and it serves as the National Presenting Sponsor of the ADA’sAmerica’s Walk for Diabetes.
You can see I am ardent in this mission to subdue the twin scourges of diabetes and obesity that rob us, our children and our planet of so much that life can offer us.