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Diabetes: 'Valuable Truths about Food and Consequences'


Recently, celebrity chef Paula Deen, famous for her high-fat and high-sugar versions of Southern-style cooking, announced that she has diabetes and will be a spokesperson for the diabetes drug Victoza. ' Her announcement drew fire from those who felt it was opportunistic; that she ignored or glossed-over the fact that the very foods she championed on her cooking show were the type people who are at risk of diabetes should avoid.'  Frank Bruni, former NYTimes food critic, (quoted in title) pointed out that Deen isn't the only celebrity chef "exhorting people to pig out" (though when not in front of a camera many admit to being cautious eaters).

While some thought that the criticism lobbed Deen's way was unfair, her announcement did get people discussing the increasing rates of diabetes. ' In her article, Why Is Type 1 Diabetes Rising Worldwide?, journalist Maryn McKenna explores a diabetes conundrum.'  Type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity, so it makes logical sense with rising obesity comes an increase in type 2 diabetes (also known as adult-onset diabetes).'  But what about Type 1?'  McKenna points out that researchers are unsure about why type 1, an autoimmune disorder typically diagnosed in children, is similarly on the rise.

This means many more people will have to learn how to manage their blood sugar, a complex task that for many involves daily injections of insulin and glucose monitoring.'  Completing these tasks and maintaining appropriate blood glucose levels can be especially challenging for children with type 1 diabetes, as Michelle Katz and Lori Laffel point out in their piece, It Takes A Village: Caring for Children with Diabetes.'  "Families need frequent support and extensive education in diabetes self-management in order to have the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully manage the condition'technologies offer only a form of imperfect insulin replacement, as remarkable rigor is required to orchestrate the changing treatment demands of fluctuating glucose levels in an active, growing child."

Alleviating the toll of diabetes, which can include higher risks for kidney disease, blindness, stroke and amputation, begins with timely diagnosis and help. ' The National Institutes of Health recently released a fact sheet detailing how a common test for blood glucose levels, called the A1C test, can be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. ' Online resources and chats with people who have diabetes can be helpful for some: Amy Tenderich of DiabetesMine and TuDiabetes are two highly respected sites. ' In addition, recent HBNS stories covering diabetes research studies can be found here.


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Conversation Continues feature ongoing discussions or news on current health topics with links to related materials.  They are part of the Center for Advancing Health’s portfolio of free, evidence-based coverage of what it takes to find good care and make the most of it.

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Diabetes   Conversation Continues   Participate in your Treatment   Lifestyle and Prevention   Diet and Nutrition  

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