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Jackie and Ella

Diabetes is the global warming of public health. A crisis that will affect the lives of literally billions of people is looming with an inevitability that borders on irrepressible. We pretty much know the causes and even have a fair idea about how to prevent it. Yet inertia is such that somewhere between one-quarter and one-third of the world’s population will become diabetic in the next few generations. These are the proportions about to beset North America and Europe, but the developing world is rapidly following in step. So pervasive is the switch to fast foods and sedentary lifestyles that obesity and its consequences will soon replace malnutrition as the predominant food-related malady of even the poorest nations.

Diabetes is also an equal opportunity killer. Young or old, man or woman, rich or poor, black or white, thin or fat: Everyone is at some risk. The list of prominent diabetics cuts across professions and includes some surprises that buck the popular impression that it is solely a disease of the morbidly over weight. Spencer Tracy, Mary Tyler Moore, and Halle Berry head a long list of actors; Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat, and Mikhail Gorbachev suffered; Howard Hughes was afflicted as was, ironically enough, Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s.


  

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