Diabetes: A Video on Type 2 Diabetes

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Introduction to Type 2 Diabetes Research and its Implications

Diabetes is linked to insulin resistance. This is where “the body cannot use insulin effectively. Insulin is needed to help control the amount of sugar in the body”. Type 2 diabetes has a cost to individuals and society, including the National Health Service.

This website does not intend to provide any medical advice. However, the video shows that type 2 diabetes can be reversed. The research, optimistically suggests that an extremely strict diet can help reverse the disorder. In August 2011, it was argued that a reduction in meat consumption could reduce the risk of diabetes.

Comment on the Newcastle University Diabetes Research

Academics discuss losing weight as a way of preventing diabetes. However, the suggestion should really be about losing fat; particularly around the liver and pancreas. It is appropriate to lose fat which can contribute to diabetes but not lose weight in terms of muscle.

Diabetes and Agricultural and Food Policy

This website is interested in food policy; and agricultural policies are relevant to food consumption and the risk of diabetes. Agricultural production and farming policies have led to large quantities of sugar being produced. Farmers produce sugar “and if this output is neither exported nor stockpiled then it must be consumed” (Heasman et. al. 1997:274). Consumers can find it difficult to avoid eating the sugar that is produced. This is because sugar is a common ingredient in foods and drinks. Products can be labelled as containing sugar but the sugar is still hidden inside the food or drink. This concealed sugar is not like packet sugar which the consumer can choose voluntarily to add to the product.

Moreover, takeaways and restaurants rarely attach nutritional labels to their products. The nutritional concern is that consumer’s voluntary choices are limited. This is because, “less than one-third of sugar used in Britain is in the form of packet or table-top sugar; the rest is used as an ingredient in manufactured foods and drinks” (Heasman 1989). A reduction in sugar production is needed to help consumers to lessen their sugar consumption; and lower their risk of acquiring diabetes. Also, food products should be formulated to contain less sugar.

Diabetes and Artificial Sweeteners

Even if consumers can avoid sugar then there is a different concern over the consumption of artificial sweeteners which needs to be confronted. Synthetic products could cause weight gain by directly stimulating the development of new fat cells. Also, research and debate is needed over the safety of different synthetic sweeteners. It is possible that alternatives to sugar are not a healthy option for the public. It is even possible that sugar is a preferable alternative to artificial sweeteners.

Newcastle University Research on Diet and Diabetes from 2011