Date: March 16, 2001
For Release: Immediately
Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343


STATEMENT BY HHS SECRETARY TOMMY G. THOMPSON

Regarding the New U.S. Postal Service Diabetes Awareness Stamp

I congratulate the U.S. Postal Service for taking an important step in raising awareness about diabetes, a major public health threat to our nation. Since 1990, diabetes rates have skyrocketed by 40 percent. Today, more than 16 million Americans have diabetes, with some 800,000 new cases diagnosed each year. If these dangerous trends continue, the impact on our nation's health and medical care costs in future years will be overwhelming.

Much of the health burden of diabetes can be delayed or prevented through proper nutrition, physical activity and appropriate medical treatment. This is why I have announced a nationwide campaign focusing on preventive medicine. So many of our health problems can be avoided through diet, exercise and making sure we take care of ourselves. By promoting healthy lifestyles, we can improve the quality of life for all Americans, and reduce health care costs dramatically.

Reducing the risk of diabetes in America is one of the challenges outlined in Healthy People 2010, the department's broad set of national health goals. HHS agencies have long supported this agenda by educating the public about diabetes and its complications, providing increased access to diabetes treatment, and forging new paths in the scientific research arena.

With the issuance of the new diabetes awareness stamp, the Postal Service has propelled diabetes awareness to an unprecedented national scope. Now, Americans in every corner of the nation will be reminded to "Know More About Diabetes."

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Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news

 


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