Yesterday the World Health Organisation has published its Global Report on Diabetes which estimates that 422 million people people worldwide were suffering from diabetes in 2014.
The key messages make distressing reading:
– Diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths in 2012.
– Higher-than-optimal blood glucose was responsible for an additional 2.2 million deaths as a result of increased risks of cardiovascular and other diseases, for a total of 3.7 million deaths related to blood glucose levels in 2012.
– Many of these deaths (43%) occur under the age of 70.
– In 2014, 422 million people in the world had diabetes – a prevalence of 8.5% among the adult population.
– The prevalence of diabetes has been steadily increasing for the past 3 decades and is growing most rapidly in low- and middle-income countries.
– Associated risk factors such as being overweight or obese are increasing.
– Diabetes is an important cause of blindness, kidney failure, lower limb amputation and other long-term consequences that impact significantly on quality of life.
For the last 40 years in the western world at least, our governments have been issuing nutritional advice and guidelines as to the types and amounts of food we should eat while at the same time we have got more and more over weight and more and more unwell. Now the developing world appears to be playing catch up with us.
Can it really be the case that millions and millions of people have been deliberately ignoring the advice that their governments have been giving them? I doubt it and the evidence is that calorie intake has gone down and exercise levels have gone up. Which is exactly what the WHO is calling for in its report. But if that is what has already happened and diabetes has gone UP, what is the point of asking for more of the same?
In my view and my personal experience, it is the ADVICE that is wrong. Not the exercise more bit, we should all do that, but the advice about what we should be eating. Advising people to eat a low calorie and low fat diet is the same as advising them to eat a high carbohydrate diet and a diet high in carbohydrates increases insulin production and promotes fat storage. A diet high in fast carbohydrates such as sugar, may lead to the development of diabetes.
So why do governments continue to promote this type of diet when all the evidence suggests that it is making us seriously ill. The Guardian has published a summary of the case against the nutritional establishment, funded by the food industry and determined to silence those who question the evidence that has supported the dietary guidelines. Its a sorry story of ruthless personal ambition mixed with very poor science and an absolute determination to never admit that you might have been wrong. And its killing 422 million people.
And if you are on Facebook, Wheat Belly has picked it up too: