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Tackling California’s Diabetes Challenges

Alicia Procello Maddox

The president of Avery Dennison Foundation, Alicia Procello Maddox heads the Avery Dennison nonprofit's operations. The holder of a master’s in public health from the University of Michigan, Alicia Procello Maddox served on the board of the California Center for Public Health and Advocacy, now known as Public Health Advocates.

Public Health Advocates promotes healthy living in California. It does this through health research and policy advocacy. The organization is currently involved in a diabetes prevention campaign after one of its studies revealed that more than half of California’s adult population has either diabetes or prediabetes.

According to the organization, more than 13 million adults in California have prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes while 2.5 million adults have diabetes. Together, this makes 15.5 million Californians (55 percent of adults in the state) with diabetes or prediabetes.
These high prevalence rates are a definite cause for concern, especially considering the high cost of diabetes. The disease is associated with numerous complications including blindness, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease. Besides the personal costs to individuals affected, diabetes poses a severe burden on families, businesses, and health care plans. In California, diabetes costs the state $27 billion annually, with $19 billion associated with direct medical care.
Public Health Advocates is working together with state partners to promote healthy living in California. Part of its campaign is focused on promoting physical activity, weight loss, and dietary improvements, all of which have been linked to a lower risk of developing diabetes.

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