Thursday, July 13, 2017

Obesity vs Sugar

There has been an ongoing war, more than just a battle, over what causes obesity and then the issue regarding its sequellae. Namely such things as Type 2 Diabetes, then heart disease, kidney failure, and a significant number of inflammatory disease including cancers. Obesity leads to inflammation and inflammation leads to cancer. That is well established.

But people seem to focus on the wrong things. Some call it a disease, namely obesity. Thus one could call anything a disease, it is a way to hide the fact that it is done by choice. Some seek a single cause, carbohydrates, and even down to sucrose, plain white sugar.

Now white sugar is known to be a major cause of tooth decay. Yes it can add to obesity and is rather dangerous when one has diabetes.

Now there is an article in the Guardian that states:

I am now a member of the zipper club. I know, I thought it sounded rude too. But apparently it’s the club name for those of us who have a scar right down the middle of our chest. I have one down my leg too, from groin to ankle. And as I spend time recovering from a heart bypass operation – mostly doing very little, watching the cricket, reading the paper – I have started to reflect on my condition. How did it come to this? How did the arteries of my heart become so clogged with gunk that I may have been just weeks from meeting my maker? “Diabetic,” they said. “Pah,” I thought. I don’t feel any different. I just get up to pee a bit more at night. Some biochemical medical problem just seemed a bit too elusive, abstract, distant. I mean, .... who really took that seriously? Earlier this year, I was sent on a diabetes awareness day and spent the time looking out of the window, bored. They tried to explain it to me but I wasn’t concentrating. Well, now that someone has sliced through my breastbone as they might a Christmas turkey, the whole thing doesn’t seem quite so distant. And suddenly – and unsurprisingly – I am concentrating. All ears to, and pretty evangelical about, the evils of sugar. 

 This person knew or should have known that he was potentially a walking time bomb. The chest crack is perhaps just the beginning. He appears to have been obese for quite a while. How does one stop this? Good question. I have tried to tell folks what the problem is. When a teenager has a BMI in excess of 30 the mother says he is just a bit chubby and will out grow it. Doubtful.

The long term costs are explosive. Any new health care plan must somehow include a set of incentives regarding this issue. Otherwise the ongoing 3.75% Medicare tax on us older folks will go towards these chronic diseases, not to what it is supposed to go towards.