Are you digging your grave with your teeth?
(A classic Dad and Auntie Gwen saying)
I love to ‘shopping trolley watch’. I stand behind someone in the queue at the supermarket and make judgements about what might be in their trolley based on what they look like. It is an awful confession, but it’s true, I do that. And…. I usually guess right.
The problem is the humour is dampened by the fact that statistically we are getting so fat, which leads to considerable health problems. I hear people say, “my little Jonny will only eat (insert some gross unhealthy product of choice here).” I hate to say it but children’s eating habits are totally controlled by their parents. If bubbling bouncy Bertha develops Type II diabetes by the age of 15, you as the parent is at fault 60% of the time.
Type II diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing preventable chronic condition. Preventable means life-style factors that contribute to Type II diabetes. In fact, some statistics claim that up to 60% of cases of diabetes could have been prevented.
What is Type II Diabetes?
Simply, diabetes is marked by high levels of glucose in the blood as a result of lack of insulin. All cells in our body need glucose but it must get to the cells from the blood. In order for this to happen your body must produce insulin. Insulin is like a key to your front door. For the glucose to enter the cells the insulin ‘key’ has to be present to allow entry.
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What can you do? That old chestnut… diet and exercise.
It always reminds me of a scene from Ab Fab.
Eddie: “Why am I so fat, why?”
Saffie: “For a start, you eat too much, you drink too much and you take no exercise.”
Eddie: “Darling, it’s far more likely to be an allergy to something. A hormone imbalance.”
Saffie: “Look mum, all you have to do is eat less and take a bit of exercise.”
Eddie: “Sweetie, if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it.”
Twenty years ago Type II diabetes was deemed age related, in that it was commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 40 who were predominately overweight and led a sedentary life-style. The epidemic of obesity and low level activity among young people shows a significant increase in the prevalence of Type II diabetes in young people. The predominant cause is lifestyle factors.
Generational changes which include epigenetic changes mean that there is a further increased risk of developing diabetes. For those of you interested in this science more information can be found in the following article.
Apart from the neuropathic and micro and macro vascular risks associated with having diabetes and all that entails for the person, there is an increased economic burden on our health system with people living longer with a disability.
None of this is good news given that the majority of cases of diabetes are PREVENTABLE!
Even in pre-diabetes if you exercise, watch your diet and maintain a healthy weight you can delay or even prevent diabetes.
I have a friend who has a dog that never goes on a walk, uses a leaf blower and has a walking machine that he has to find time to use. What is wrong with this picture?
All of us have busy lives and all of us can find excuses not to exercise but if we can incorporate more activity into our daily lives it will be a start.
Look at food. It is not polyfilla, it is fuel to provide our bodies with essential nutrients. In our world of instant gratification we no longer tolerate being hungry even for a millisecond. We must be sated on every level, at all times and that is killing us.