Diabetes & Obesity

1989 – Minneapolis VA researchers demonstrate that an aggressive, comprehensive, wound-care protocol can prevent limb loss in most high-risk diabetes patients


1996 – VA researchers find an implantable insulin pump offers better blood sugar control, weight control, and quality of life for type 2 diabetes (once known as adult-onset diabetes) than multiple daily injections


2008 – Researchers publish the first results of the seven-year VA Diabetes Trial, which finds that intensive control of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes does little to cut the risk of heart disease


2013 – VA begins participation in a longterm National Institutes of Health study testing the long-term benefits and risks of four widely used diabetes drugs in combination with metformin

2002 – VA researchers produce key findings on ghrelin, a “hunger hormone” that may be the signal that makes people feel like eating


2006 – VA MOVE! program implemented nationally


2012 – A VA study finds that the cost of caring for surgical patients in the VA system three years after bariatric (weightloss) surgery is similar to the cost of caring for obese Veterans who did not have the surgery


2013 –VA researchers tie PTSD and depression to weight gain in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans

Milestones and Major Events

More than 20 million Americans have diabetes, and more than 40 million more Americans are at risk to develop the disease. Nearly one in four VA patients has the condition, including some who developed it as a result of being exposed to herbicides while serving in Vietnam.

More than 35 percent of American adults are obese, and about 17 percent of children are obese—about 78 million adults and 12.5 million children. More than 7 in 10 Veterans who receive VA care are either overweight or obese.