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 Followhealthlife’s posts on the series:

Health Points: Tuesday

This year, farmers planted about three-quarters of a million acres of low-linolenic soybeans, about a third to a half of what is needed to meet the demand, said Steven W. Poole, a spokesman for Qualisoy, an association that researches and promotes soybeans with enhanced traits.
Ultimately, Mr. Poole anticipates that as many as five million acres of low-linolenic soybeans could be planted in the United States as more partially hydrogenated oils are replaced.
I've always liked fresh corn and peas. Each brightly colored, with a crisp sweetness, and both best when cooked very gently. Sit those kernels on a plate, they make a nice visual statement as well. Slopped between loops of intestine, stuck above the liver, soiling the hidden spaces around the pancreas and duodenum, filling the pelvis, some of the sensual pleasure of what may have been a nice meal gets lost, and dealing with it puts me off the feed for a while. Doesn't smell all that great, either. If it's embarrassing to get a drop of soup on your tie, imagine how it'd feel to see your omentum harboring a whole salad. Hanging down from the transverse colon like a wet apron, it can hide lots of cranberries in its crannies; getting them loose requires individual plucking, and can take a while. The upside is that a person with a perforated ulcer is generally in a lot of pain, and sewing up the hole, cleaning out the food, and copiously irrigating away the acids means s/he is likely to wake up with a smile. I can put up with a little personal unpleasantness when it produces results like that.
One 45-year-old professional writer -- who asked not to be named in order to speak more candidly -- described how she lost nearly 100 pounds over three years after doing some heavy soul-searching. "I had to think, 'Why do I do things that aren't so healthy?' and think about what motivates me, not only to be healthy but also what motivates one to not be healthy. What was I getting out of that?"

It is when people fail to develop healthy coping mechanisms that they fall back on bad habits such as smoking, according to John Banzhaf, George Washington University law professor and executive director of the District-based anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health. "And then a cigarette is no longer enough, so you go to alcohol. And on and on."
At times like this, you need beauty. Doesn't matter if it's a sunset or Body Worlds or a good bottle of wine; you need beauty.


And getting next to it can be enough. Getting to hear fetal heart tones coming from the belly of a woman who's had successful emergency surgery can be enough. Seeing one person walk that you never thought would is enough. Having a patient who's well enough to eat the food his family brought in for Eid ul-Adha is enough.
New guidelines from the industry are due in April on how to prevent contamination throughout the food chain, from before greens are planted until they reach the dinner table.


Members of Congress are asking federal agencies to report on what went wrong and how to fix the problem. Some lawmakers want to replace the patchwork system of federal food regulation with a single agency in charge of what people eat.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimates that one in three children born in the U.S. five years ago is expected to become diabetic in their lifetime. The number of diabetics has grown by 80% in the past decade.
As 2007 dawns, there are no wildly popular weight loss fads sweeping the country on the scale of Atkins or South Beach a few years ago, or, to a lesser extent, the Sonoma and Shangri-la diets of last year.
Bah! You're hardly meat. But you are quite popular, and people aspire to taste like you. You're probably quite skinny and free of vices. Except letting people eat your eggs.