Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use
insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches
and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes
continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental
factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 23.6 million
children and adults in the United States (or 7.8% of the population)
have diabetes; and nearly one fourth of those are unaware that they even
have the disease.