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Saturday, October 23, 2010

1 in 3 Americans Could Have Diabetes 40 Years From Now

The Centers for Disease Control are estimating now that by the year 2050 as many as 1 in 3 Americans could have diabetes. About 1 in 10 have diabetes now. The CDC says about 24 million Americans have diabetes – and one-quarter of them do not know it.

The latest CDC projections were published October 22 in the journal Population Health Metrics.

Ann Albright, director of CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation, called the new figures "alarming," and said they showed how critical it is for people to improve their lifestyle choices on eating and physical activity.
Also, new government-funded research published September 27 in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that diabetics might benefit more from diet and exercise than drugs. Lifestyle trumps medication if people are serious enough about making changes; overweight individuals with diabetes who radically revamped their eating and exercise habits lowered heart disease risk factors far more than those who just took medications.

In mid-September, the FDA severely restricted, rather than pulled from the market, the diabetes drug Avandia due to reports of increased risk of heart attack, heart failure, osteoporosis and other potentially life-threatening side-effects. Lawsuits are in the works alleging the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, did not provide adequate warnings to doctors and patients concerning the side effects associated with Avandia use.

Dr. Grout’s comment:

Diabetes does not have to be a life threatening disease. But we seem to have no checks and balances in place, no agency or medical association taking charge and developing a national campaign to change how America eats. There are too many corporate sponsorships with “junk food” companies blocking the path.

The American Diabetes Association says, “Our National Sponsors play an important role in helping the American Diabetes Association raise much needed funds to bring us closer to finding a cure for the disease … Merisant Company, the makers of Equal® Sweetener, has been a national sponsor of the American Diabetes Association for more than 17 years.”  McNeil Nutritionals LLC, maker of Splenda®, is another sponsor. The findings of eight years of solid research on diet soda and weight gain was reported to the American Diabetes Association at its annual meeting in 2005 – there is a 41 percent increase in risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink a person consumes each day. If you Google “Artificial Sweeteners Make You Fat,” various studies come up – studies that the ADA chooses to ignore.

Other ADA sponsors include Pfizer (markets the diabetes drug Actos) and BD Diabetes Care (medical supplies corporation whose business includes "diabetes care" and "pharmaceutical systems”).

Blogger Dana Carpender says, “Those of us in the low carb community have long shaken our heads, wondering why, oh why, the American Diabetes Association still insists that the best diet for people with severely impaired carbohydrate metabolisms is a low fat diet loaded with starch – aka ‘lots of sugar holding hands.’ Yet the ADA continues to recommend a diet of the very foods that destabilize blood sugar, instructing diabetics to ‘cover’ those ‘healthy’ carbs with higher and higher doses of medication.”

The British medical Journal, The Lancet, said last June that diabetes is more of a social issue than a medical issue: “To lessen the burden of diabetes requires a substantial change in diet and routine, such as that advocated by Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign… The fact that type 2 diabetes, a largely preventable disorder, has reached epidemic proportion is a public health humiliation.”

And have you noticed the new TV commercials put out by the Corn Refiners Association? They’ve dumped the term “high fructose corn syrup” and are now calling it “corn sugar” because “the public now puts HFCS in the same category as trans fats: poison.” And well they should. Despite what the industry salespeople say in the ads, high fructose corn syrup by any name is not the same as refined sugar.

So we cannot expect the CDC or the ADA or anyone other than you and me to change our habits and avoid diabetes. The results of diabetes are ugly enough that it’s worth it.

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