The Times article points out that there is an underappreciated truth about disease: it will harm you even if you never get it. Disease reverberates outward, and if the illness gets big enough, it brushes everyone. Diabetes is big enough.
Predicting the path of a disease is always speculative, but without bold intervention diabetes threatens to hamper some of society's most basic functions.
For instance, no one with diabetes can join the military, though service members whose disease is diagnosed after enlisting can sometimes stay. No insulin-dependent diabetic can become a commercial pilot.
As more women contract diabetes in their reproductive years, more babies will be born with birth defects. Those needy babies will be raised by parents increasingly crippled by their diabetes. Needless to say, this would be a tremendous drain on Medicare and Medicaid.
Stopping this epidemic is obviously something our government and policy leaders need to make a priority.