New estimates on the rates of diabetes worldwide were reported in the general media this week. As frightening as these numbers are – 36 million people in the USA, and over 348 million worldwide, I still think these numbers fall short of the mark. This truly is a global pandemic, and as against federal ‘big brother’ regulations (and pro-personal freedoms) as I am – I do think that it has come to a critical point where the governments of these nations (ours included) need to step in. We need to go against the big business of soft drinks, and the fast food giants to save our nation, and save ourselves from the heavy toll of obesity related disease.
Obviously, all the educational efforts and promotional campaigns to encourage healthy eating and activity are falling on deaf ears. Much of the media attention is devoted to the plight of the poor with limited access to healthy habits such as safe areas to walk in inner cities, local grocery stores and the cost of fruits and vegetables in comparison to ‘super-value meals’ but the similarly bad (and deliberate) choices of the more privileged middle-class are ignored.
While I believe that people should take responsibility for their own actions (in all areas of life) we should no longer stand by and allow the damage that is being done to our younger generations. Obesity among teens and children continues to rise due to poor dietary habits, and inactivity. At this point; ‘junk food’ should be regulated like cigarettes and alcohol.
Ten years ago – I would have rebelled as such government intrusion into American life, but ten years ago – I was still relatively new to the devastation caused by diabetes, obesity and related diseases. These last years have been a crash course in human suffering and a primer in (potentially) avoidable disease. It has also been eye-opening in terms of human behaviour – and amazing (to me) that serious complications such as heart attacks, strokes, and heart surgery still fail to motivate people to make even small changes in their lifestyles.
Much is made of new medications and treatments for diabetes – but we fail to grasp the essential truth; that we are eating ourselves to death and destroying mankind. There is no pill for that.
While I generally try to remain upbeat here at Cartagena Surgery, the plague of Diabetes too large for even my sunny nature to overcome.