It's one of the most frightening "coming attractions" I've ever seen: By 2050, up to a third of all U.S. adults will be diabetic.

That's triple the current rate of 1 in 10, and--depending on our population growth--could mean more than 100 million diabetics facing long-term health problems and expensive care.

It sounds like a disaster movie in the making, and not nearly as unbelievable as a flick with a giant asteroid or massive super-storm.

And we don't need to wait until 2050 to see the film -- we're living in the sneak preview right now.

We already have more than 23 million diabetics in the nation today, including up to 5 million people who have the disease but don't know it yet. Another 57 million are pre-diabetic--so close to the disease they can almost taste it with each trip to IHOP.

And you can bet that most of these people will get worse, not better.

Some are so unhealthy the only question is whether they'll live long enough to get diabetes--or die of something
else, like a heart attack, first.

The shame of it is, this didn't have to happen--and it doesn't have to happen to you.

Basic lifestyle modifications, such as eating right and getting some regular movement, can help anyone avoid diabetes. And those same changes can bring the disease to its knees if you do happen to get it.

Apparently, for millions of us, that's just a little too much to ask--and we're paying the price.

In fact, obesity alone--the prime cause of so many cases of diabetes--now swallows up 17 percent of all U.S. medical costs. That's $168 billion a year total, or up to $2,800 per year in extra medical costs for each overweight patient.

Another new study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that obesity-related medical expenses such as sick days and health-related productivity losses cost U.S. employers $73 billion a year.

Put those last two studies together and you get a bill of nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars a year--or more than $800 for every man, woman and child in the United States.

Clearly, this isn't just a health crisis anymore… it's a financial disaster, too.