Dear CDC, Stop Scaring People Into Thinking They Have 'Prediabetes'

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The Centers for Disease Control, now with Prevention added in, has recently taken to inventing problems they can then ask for money from Congress to solve.

One glaring example is promoting "prediabetes." Unlike Type 1, Type 2 diabetes is a problem that lifestyle changes can usually prevent, but picking a target so low as to be meaningless is just going to scare a lot of people, get some to want medication, and erode public confidence in science and health. Like "nutrition" guidelines that only 2 percent of the public meet, promoting concern about prediabetes using 5.7 percent for the average blood sugar level (the HbA1C test) is only going to identify 5 percent of people who will go on to develop diabetes - but with a huge price tag. The other 95 percent of people with that A1C level will be fine. Though they keep defining prediabetes down, it has yet to show any benefit, there hasn't been an improvement in mortality rates even after 10 years.

CDC shouldn't be scaremongering using the term because "prediabetes" is not a real condition anyway - you are not pre-pregnant either - but the CDC still created a website named, where people take a survey and tens of millions will be told they might have something that sounds scary like diabetes and need to go to the doctor. Actual diabetes occurs when the pancreas, and the insulin hormone it creates to allow for cells to absorb sugar, doesn’t function properly.  People with Type 1 diabetes have an autoimmune condition that results in the destruction of insulin-producing cells but it can also be acquired. Type 2 diabetes can be acquired primarily due to poor diet and lack of exercise, which leads to obesity and overtaxes the body's natural insulin regulation system. 

The CDC is supposed to control disease, not engage in "medicalization" by pathologizing normal variations in bodily functions, characteristics or metrics. Blood sugar can spike or drop by as much as 20 mg/dL hourly due to environmental or biological factors but if it happens to be when you are at that doctor's office because you took their survey, you could be labeled with a disease that isn't a disease...yet sounds like one.

CDC claims if they scare people about the possibility, people will make lifestyle changes. Perhaps a few will. But evidence instead shows that when you promote a medical condition and claim it's common - up to 80 million people will have that A1C level - it becomes egalitarian and therefore exculpatory. Though the US government has continued to drive the red alert number downward, to no beneficial effect, other countries and the World Health Organization dismiss the term complely. WHO and International Diabetes Federation refuse to even use it because "so many people do not progress to diabetes as the term implies."

Meanwhile our government goes out of its way to tell people they have it.

Diabetes is a serious issue and the cost is staggering to treat it, but treat it we do, and quite successfully. Yet if the CDC is successful and adds tens of millions of people into a health care figure that is already $322 billion, it is going to drain precious resources away from people who truly need it.