Western diets and the link to Diabetes.

      4 Comments on Western diets and the link to Diabetes.

Diabetes type 2 is on the increase. This disease has been identified as a new phenomenon which is linked to diet and exercise. Exactly, what is type 2 diabetes? It occurs in people whose bodies no longer use insulin. The insulin hormone helps the body regulate blood sugar. When the blood sugar is too high, the disease causes blood sugar (glucose) levels to rise.

It is estimated that as many as 29 million people have diabetes type 2 in the USA according to the center of disease control (CDC). This is a huge impact on the health industry costing more than 245 billion dollars.

The western diet, along with the help of the food industry has been at work for many decades, refining our foods with highly processed substances and modifying foods by using genetic methods. The western diet is also linked to a lifestyle where food is on demand and obtainable instantly. Thus, the idea of a fast food industry that deals with hunger instantly.

Other factors include the lifestyle patterns of people and their environments where there is limited opportunity for exercise. When towns and cities are planned, especially in the USA, residential areas are deigned as far away as possible from commercial areas. Thus, people spend more time driving/commuting rather than walking to get to work, school and amenities.
In his book, ‘In Defense of Food’, Michael Pollan illustrates the results of a study conducted by nutritionist researcher Karen O’Dea on the aboriginal diabetic people in Australia, by removing them from the western lifestyle and taking them back to the bush. After a number of weeks, in the bush, they had lost weight and regained their non-diabetic status because they were no longer intaking a processed diet.

The important message here, is that this disease is preventable and people should start to choose diets that do not contain all the processed and modified ingredients.

Bing images https://i.pinimg.com/736x/73/3f/22/733f22276b78620c831103375f562c32.jpg
Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. New York: The Penguin Press. 2008.

4 thoughts on “Western diets and the link to Diabetes.

  1. monicals

    The amount of processed food we consume (and I am guilty as well) is really appalling. Though the Menzel photo essay we read more recently in the course was an eye opener. Although the purpose of the photo essay was more to distinguish between costs, the photos of other affluent countries’ typical foods were still overall healthier than the ones from the United States. For example, Japan has access to many of the processed foods that Americans do, however, their staples are still soy, rice, vegetables, fish, and fruit. In 2017, the United States was reported as the most obese country of the world at almost 40% of the population being obese, and Japan was at around 3% (OECD). It makes you wonder what would have had to be different throughout the past for the United States to have a similar obesity rate to Japan. Japan is an affluent country and offers fast food, processed foods, and sugary and salty foods to it’s residents yet their diet remains much healthier than the typical American diet.

  2. anonymous proxy

    I believe that avoiding processed foods could be the first step to help lose weight. They can taste good, but ready-made foods have got very little nutritional value, making you feed on more simply to have enough power to get over the day. If you are constantly having these foods, transitioning to cereals and other complex carbohydrates will let you have more strength while eating less. Great blog post.

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