type II diabetes

National Measures

One common way that national viability is measured is through gross national product, or GDP -- the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a year, or other given period of time. In the United States, as of 2011, health spending in this country was at 18 percent of GDP, or about $2.6 trillion per year. The estimated annual health care costs of obesity-related illnesses such as hypertension, Type II diabetes and arthritis are a staggering $190.2 billion, or nearly 21% of annual medical spending. Hardly stats worth bragging about. Still, the debate on health coverage in the country rages on, leaving us fractured, polarized and still overweight. As the federal government works to find solutions, even within the framework of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the church is beginning to coalesce around a simple truth: that we can collectively drive down medical costs -- even if it takes a generation -- by becoming better stewards of our health.

"The things God calls us to do as believers require a stewardship-type outlook of the body," says PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña. "If you’re a believer who finds himself or herself unknowingly hiding behind the truth that God only sees the heart — with all due respect — a willful neglect of the body is a heart issue."

Enter the soon-to-be released PrayFit Diet by Jimmy Peña, which goes beyond its own detailed meal plans and macronutrient counts and digs into the biblical motivations -- and mandates -- for taking better care of "the bodies that carry the soul."

This message, which has been well-received in churches across the country since the advent of PrayFit in 2009, has made its way to Washington. Congressman Aaron Schock, who has received plenty of attention for his personal dedication to healthy living, had this to say about The PrayFit Diet:

"Jimmy Peña’s The PrayFit Diet provides the moral case for why every human being should be living with food discipline -- for their benefit and for the glory of God."

Schock put his belief in personal responsibility into legislative language with HR 2649, which would have provided a tax reimbursement for qualified physical activity, "in order to incentivize more Americans to take better care of themselves," he said on his website.

This is precisely where Schock's philosophy dovetails with Peña’s.

"God equipped us for a unique purpose and to accomplish it, He gave us these bodies," Peña says. "What an awesome honor to be responsible for their care."

While the costs of health care continue to spiral out of control, we can rest easy knowing that we are not powerless in this fight. Can faith fight obesity and other related health maladies? We believe it can. And like Rep. Schock says, it's for our benefit...but His glory.

Final Prayfit Diet CoverThe PrayFit Diet, is not only inspired by biblical principles, but it’s also supported by today’s cutting-edge science, and Peña gives you a plan to shed weight fast and the motivation to keep it off for a lifetime. By combining perfectly proportioned meals with biblically based motivation, The PrayFit Diet will give you all the tools you need to live a life that will both inspire you and honor the Lord. The PrayFit Diet is available for pre-order everywhere books are sold.

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BRAVE HEARTS

August 1, 2011Read: Matthew 26

"The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." --Matthew 26:41

I spent the better portion of the weekend reading my good friend Jeff O'Connell's new book, "Sugar Nation." It's an incredible read that looks deep into America's invisible epidemic: Type II diabetes. Jeff, who's dad died of the disease, takes you on an eye-opening journey, and what he discovers along the way is unbelievable.

But one of America's deadliest diseases didn't reach his brilliant pen until it touched his brittle heart. And as I'm learning, the truth isn't bitter until it reaches the tongue and it doesn't walk until it moves your feet. In Jeff's case, both happened.

Friends, because our hearts are most important, it's time we view our health through its eyes. Yes, God designed our bodies to give out eventually, but it doesn't mean we have to give in easily. If our hearts could talk, what would they say about our effort to keep them beating? (Oh, I know the question is borderline silly, but try not to brush over it too quickly.) Simply put, whether you're 17 or 70, we have a lot to do for the Lord. And if you're reading this sentence, your brave heart is still willing. God forbid we have to stop because the body is weak.

--J.P.

Excerpt from "Sugar Nation" by Jeff O'Connell

"Whether I was sitting in an exam room with my doctor, visiting the largest diabetes conferences in the world, reading journal articles or interviewing experts at major universities, I kept coming back to the same realization over and over again. To avoid a long and torturous demise at the hands of diabetes, I'd have to hit the road to figure out this thing on my own. You shouldn't have to do that."

>> Pick up your copy of Sugar Nation today by clicking here.

THE CLOSER

October 26, 2010Read: Matthew 24 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” -- Matthew 24:36

Seeing that my baseball season is over, I thought I’d give you another reason why I love America’s pastime: the role of the closer. The closer is someone who specializes in sealing the deal. See, in baseball you play until the game is done. Not the case in other sports. Take basketball for instance. There’s a minute left, you’re up five points and rather than drive to the basket, you run out the clock. In football, you take a knee. Soccer, hockey — you name it. Most major sports have a way to play it safe.

I think we all have the tendency to play it safe on occasion. As Christians, we can get into a mindset of “I’m saved, I can coast, I think I’ll run out the clock today.” But days can turn into weeks and weeks, years. Which reminds me, in baseball, there is no clock. You don’t know how long a life — I mean — a game can last. Thus, the need for a closer. Someone who does his best work at the end.

Recently I read that Billy Graham hopes to preach one more time before the Lord takes him home. Even though he struggles to stand, Billy still wants the ball. Talk about a closer.

Now, granted, we’re no Billy Graham you or I. Nobody’s waiting to hear our last words. Or are they? The fact that we’re reading this sentence means we’re still in the game and the ball is in our hands. So stay warm. We just never know when we’ll be needed to take the hill.

--J.P.

DIABETES: A SCARY SITUATION

No need to look for ghosts and goblins this Halloween. Those in search of a scare need only look at the latest study on diabetes released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Type II diabetes has become one of the greatest health problems facing mankind. An estimated 285 million people have diabetes in the world today. Sadly, because it's a condition that you can live with relatively symptom-free for years, people are failing to see cause for alarm. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may change that. According to the CDC, as many as 1 in 3 Americans could be diabetic by 2050 unless action is taken.

Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in 2007, and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults under age 75, kidney failure, and non-accident/injury leg and foot amputations among adults. People with diagnosed diabetes have medical costs that are more than twice that of those without the disease. The total costs of diabetes are an estimated $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical costs. About 24 million Americans have diabetes, and one-quarter of them do not know they have it.

To read the full report by the CDC click here: Diabetes on the Rise

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