Discover the real dangers of Type 2 diabetes

Friday 24th May 2013 

  • What was it that disturbed reasoned debate around the breakfast table?

  • Discover the real dangers of this ticking health time bomb - Type 2 diabetes

  • Few words of wisdom for Professor Craig Currie – God help him!


I like a nice reasoned debate, you know the sort of thing where opposing views are eloquently and fully developed and explored.

The sort of controlled debate that allows the protagonists to extend their argument with fact and reason – and becomes something that we all learn from.

What I heard over breakfast the other day did none of that.

On Radio Five Live last Monday I heard a comment from an expert I wasn’t expecting to hear – one that certainly didn’t inform the debate, and raised my temper to boiling point.

Let me explain.

A ticking health time bomb

The main story concerned the significant increase in diabetes type 2 amongst those under the age of forty in the UK.

This statistic is worrying for a whole number of reasons not least because it means that our children are becoming increasingly at risk of developing this life shortening condition.

Surely this means we should be looking at how to tackle this trend as soon as possible – leaving no stone unturned.

Diabetes is a complex condition which develops for a number of reasons, dietary intake, genetic predisposition and impact of associated conditions all play a part.

Sufferers are subject to daily routines of medication, and in the worst case need to inject themselves with insulin every day – sometimes several times a day.

The impact of the condition means that the heart and cardiovascular system is compromised with increased risk of heart attacks and clotting problems like deep vein thrombosis.

The nervous system is constantly degraded to the point where feeling is lost completely in the feet allowing the development of horrendous ulcers and sores to go un-noticed – the so called diabetic foot.

Eyesight can be lost, emotions disrupted, brain function impaired and major organ damage caused.

This isn’t a legacy I want for my kids, and neither will it be for any right thinking individual.

So, enter Professor Craig Currie of Cardiff University to offer his opinion on how this horrifying situation could be changed.

Get ready for this because it nearly made me explode with anger...

...“We’re a nation of nation of lazy porkers” was his shocking comment.

I became apoplectic with rage.

This apologist for a crazed food industry was once again blaming the sufferers for developing the disease rather than identifying the truly guilty.

He was offering the view that all diabetics were responsible for their own condition by choosing to eat badly and lie around on their settees.

How can idiots like Professor Currie sit back and say “You’ve got to have lived on Mars if you don’t realise that being fat is going to cause you a few problems” when they don’t look at the factors influencing the development of metabolic conditions like diabetes;

  • The huge rise in hidden sugar in processed and manufactured foods ranging from breakfast cereal to High Street pizzas.
  • The massive levels of salt added to our foods to give bland reconstituted pap flavour.
  • A complete loss of basic home economics and cooking skills being taught in our schools, were subjects like media studies are considered more important.
  • The complete lack of responsibility for the quality of food entering our retail chain leading to poor quality produce, the addition of bulking agents and flavouring ingredients that are frankly unpalatable.
  • A succession of governments who have been selling off playing fields and open spaces at schools and in communities as they seek to balance the books, denying our kids the opportunity to run and breathe.

Need I go on Professor Currie? Oh, I think I might;

  • A domination of the advertising, PR and political lobbies by major food giants like Nestle, McDonalds and Coca-Cola allowing these purveyors of dietary pulp to be main sponsors of the Olympics. Hypocrisy at its highest.
  • Our medical professionals being encouraged to prescribe expensive drugs to combat diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol rather than look to prevent it occurring – and using safe and proven natural remedies instead.  Don’t forget there are shareholders who are making profits out of diabetes, and for them a growth in incidence is a fillip to their income.
  • So called experts in diabetes like the aforementioned professor who show a lack of intellect and their own bias by failing to read published literature and other peer reviewed research that PROVES the changes in national diet is the cause of increased diabetes but BLAMES the food industry rather than the sufferer.

For Professor Curries Benefit

Rather than offering ill-informed and short sighted sound bites to the media that will further stigmatise diabetes sufferers as being the cause of their own problems, how about putting your skills into preventing appalling quality food hitting the streets?

Instead of trotting out lines like “If you’re a porker when you are young and you get diabetes you’re storing up bother” why not challenge the government to legislate against high sugar, high fat food?

Frankly, Professor Currie you have not advanced the debate, didn’t provide any information of use and merely allowed the dim witted fools in the media to perpetrate a malicious campaign against the victims of a crime.

Once again you’ve allowed the guilty to hide behind a veneer of ‘scientific’ opinion.

Well done Sir, you are an absolute credit to your profession...NOT! (as my teenage daughter might say, for indeed that is the level of debate you are operating on.)

Not all academics though share this foolish perspective.

I was relieved that on Wednesday I read that some of Britain’s leading clinicians have come out in agreement with me.

They are demanding that the government radically change their advice on healthy eating and take steps to control the addition of sugar to foodstuffs.

Cardiologist, Dr Aseem Malhotra said “Not only has this advice been manipulated by the food industry for profit, but it is actually a risk factor for obesity and diet related disease.”

Whilst Simon Capewell, professor of clinical epidemiology at Liverpool University added, “the scientific evidence is reasonably clear; refined sugars added to junk food and sugary drinks represent a major risk to health.”

By listening to his peers I hope professor Currie rethinks his approach and issues a full apology for his crass and ill informed comments.

Yours, as always







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