Disease Proof

Diabetes Still a Big Problem in NYC

If you read enough health news, it’ll start to seem like obesity and diabetes go hand in hand. This correlation is pretty evident in New York City’s diabetes epidemic. According to the AFP, one in eight adults in NYC has diabetes and all the while, obesity rates continue to climb:
The New York City Health Department found that the number of diabetics in the city of eight million people had doubled in the past 10 years and said the dramatic jump mirrored an increase in obesity…

… "New York City is getting healthier by almost all measures, but the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes are getting worse by the year," Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said, unveiling the new data.
So, what do we do about it? Turn to drugs? After all that seems to be the American way. Well one diabetes rep doesn’t think that’s a good idea. From Pharmaceutical Rep Urges Healthy Diet Over Drugs:
I am personally a pharmaceutical rep and promote a diabetic medicine. It is interesting to me the corelation between diabetes and eating. You would also be amazed at the offices I call on. When I order healthy, vegetarian lunches for offices, they complain that it's not some deep fried chicken choice! And these are the same people who are telling their patients to eat well…

… I want to tell you thank you for all the good work you do. If more people followed [Dr. Fuhrman’s] advice, we would find Americans would be living much healthier, productive lives. Let's face it: diabetes and cancer are expensive! Seeing the typical diabetic will be on about six medicines, if not more!
Perhaps people just need to be better educated on the development of Type 2 diabetes? And then maybe they’ll be more receptive to other ways of treating the disease. In Understanding the Development of Type 2 Diabetes Dr. Fuhrman does just that:
As little as five pounds of excess fat on your frame can inhibit the ability of insulin to carry glucose into your cells. When you have twenty pounds of extra fat, your pancreas may be forced to produce twice as much insulin. With fifty or more pounds of excess fat on your frame, your pancreas may be forced to produce six to ten times more insulin than a person who is lean…

… When you give an adult diabetic who has been suffering from the damaging effects of excess insulin for years more insulin to drive her sugar level down, you create additional problems. Giving the diabetic patient insulin increases appetite, which causes significant weight gain (often more than 20 pounds), which makes the patient more diabetic. Thus, the administration of insulin creates a vicious cycle that cuts years off a person's life.
Okay, since we’re discussing diabetes and New York City, you might want to check out The New York Times coverage of NYC’s diabetes epidemic from last year. Here are DiseaseProof’s posts on the series:
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