Fat and Diabetes have been linked,
they harm your health and your longevity... but....

Fat and diabetes belong together - you know that for sure right?  After all, the ‘voice of science’ says so, it's touted in the media, and told by doctors.  And....it sells Big Pharma loads of diabetes medication.  A snapshot as of 2014 according to the CDC:  29.1 million people have diabetes, 86 million are pre-diabetic and the medical costs are $245 Billion per annum. Someone's making a bucket load of money off diabetics!  After all we all want to avoid diabetes and increase our chances of longevity.

PS. when you've finished reading this article check out how one diabetic patient I worked with changed her blood sugar levels using a simple 5-minute meditation.

fat and diabetes, obesity causes diabetesCDC growth of diabetes in the USA pretty much mirrors the growth of dieting

What is diabetes?

We all know it's a disease that is bad for health and longevity.  According to NIDDK (US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Type 2 diabetes is a disorder that causes sugar to build up in the blood as the body's cells become more resistant to insulin (a hormone produced in the pancreas that helps usher sugar into cells for energy)  which makes it difficult for those cells to use sugar for fuel.  As a result, the pancreas keeps producing more and more insulin until eventually, the pancreas is no longer able to keep up with the demand for insulin. This is when type 2 diabetes (T2MD) occurs.  So do fat and diabetes belong in this definition?

Another thing is that diabetes isn't a disease. It’s a symptom.  A symptom of high blood sugar that is present in every single person with T2DM regardless of their skinniness or obesity.  When you understand this, you’ll also understand that anything that upsets on how the body regulates blood sugar levels will cause type 2 diabetes. And that opens another whole can of worms....

The fat and diabetes debate....

Supposedly, obesity causes diabetes, of the type 2 kind (T2MD) but in order to even consider if fat and diabetes might fit together, we need to talk first about what is ‘obese’?  And that leads us to the so-called ‘gold standard’ for measuring BMI (Body Mass Index which is an estimate of a person's body fat levels, based on height and weight) for insurance companies and medicine. Firstly, BMI was never designed to be used for individuals and it was only ever tested on large groups of men. Not only that but in 1998, it was hi-jacked by Big Pharma to suit their purposes to sell more weight loss drugs.  

Here’s how that looked:  between 1996 and 1998 the prevalence of prescription diet drug use was estimated at 2.5 percent of US adults. Use was significantly higher among women than among men which is no surprise given that women have historically been the group targeted to rely on their appearance to gain approval, love etc... However, approximately 25 percent of the users had a body mass index less than 27, suggesting that already a quarter of the users were using diet pills inappropriately. And that was about to get worse…. (or better if you happen to be Big Pharma).  

In June 1998, despite evidence that overweight people lived longer, the BMI ranges were changed ‘downwards.’  In other words, boom! 29 million Americans who were in the ’normal’ BMI range woke up one morning suddenly ‘overweight’ based on advice to the World Health Organization by the International Obesity Taskforce which at the time was made up of people from the two companies who had weight loss drugs on the market.  Prof Linda Bacon talks about this evidence and tells how that happened in this interview.

The other thing that this graph tells us is that we have MORE dieting and MORE obesity - so if indeed fat and obesity are linked together then in spite of (or maybe because of)  all those fabulous weight loss drugs and weight loss plans ...and we're only dieting ourselves fatter.  After all, if they worked so well, wouldn't we see declining rates of obesity?  And what's worse, is that researchers have been warning us for years that diets don't work and that they are dangerous.

diets dont workBacon et al. Int Jnl of obesity, 2002

Big Pharma has a lot to answer for

Now back to big pharma, with that date June 1998 in mind.  In 1992, 60,000 fenfluramine prescriptions were written. In 1997, in part as a result of an aggressive marketing campaign, 10 million were written for phen-fen (2).  And in September 1998 ( mere 4 months after the BMI rates had been changed downwards), fenfluramine was banned from the US market.  But already the storyline that obesity was THE health ogre was gaining momentum and partly it was helped along by the American Heart Association declaring in June 1998 - there's that date again (without any new evidence) that heart disease was caused by obesity.  Thus, obesity in the hearts and minds of people became to be blamed for many major diseases.  Type 2 Diabetes (T2MD) is a case in point.  Suddenly all sorts of diseases became linked to fatness that had not been before.  Fatness and diabetes, fatness and heart attacks, fatness and cholesterol.   So strong is the storyline that diabetes is caused by obesity that the term ‘diabesity' has been coined.  

And if you think it’s unusual for Big Pharma to find ingenious ways to broaden their market…. think again!  Not only did they succeed in changing the BMI rates to sell more of their weight loss drugs, they did it with cholesterol and diabetes too:  Look at how the threshold for diagnosing  diabetes has crept lower and lower over the years.  

  • In 1997 the threshold for defining diabetes was lowered from a fasting blood glucose level of 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/l) to 125 mg/dl (6.9 mmol/l).  Boom, overnight - just as 29 million Americans suddenly became overweight or obese in June 1998, thanks to Big Pharma...another four million American adults became diabetics needing diabetes medication overnight.  

But Big Pharma wasn’t done yet so now it was scoring on fat and diabetes, both suddenly required more mediation.  

  • In 2003, the threshold for being pre-diabetic was lowered from a fasting blood glucose from 110 mg/dl (6.1 mmol/l) to 100 mg/dl (5.6 mmol/l). Fabulous for Big Pharma, another 46 million more American patients.  And her’s the interesting thing … Big Pharma doesn’t even do their own dirty work:  "The physicians in the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and American Diabetes Association panels that have presided over changes in defining pre-diabetes and diabetes or patient treatment guidelines received more than $2 million for consulting and speaking activities for diabetes drug."

Now combine lower BMI rates and lower blood glucose rates and viola...magically we have a whole new group of 'sick' people who need prescriptions that weren't sick before.  There's a whole lot of money to be made on that.

Obesity causes Diabetes....er, not so fast!

So prevalent is the ‘voice of science’ (most drug companies self-fund their research) which sets alight the ‘cultural voice’ (magazines, TV etc…) in telling the story that fat and diabetes belong together (as in obesity causes diabetes) that it might surprise you to hear that  skinny people get T2DM too. Dr. Christine Resta, an endocrinologist at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City says: "There are thin people who get type 2 diabetes, and some people -- no matter what they weigh -- just won't get diabetes." "Not all patients with diabetes are obese, and not all obese are diabetics," says Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.  You don’t often read this in the media, and even in the scientific literature there isn’t much written about them either.    

And hidden away in the data is something drug companies don’t want you to know….  there is evidence that inflammation and diabetes may PRECEDES the development of obesity.   What?  You mean - that diabetes might be there BEFORE so-called obesity?  Information like this doesn’t get out - It’s how the story that obesity causes diabetes is kept alive.  It's how the story that people who get type 2 diabetes are lazy gluttons with a self-inflicted disease gets perpetuated. But the very existence of the skinny diabetic  proves that there’s more to T2DM than what we are commonly lead to believe.  

Don't forget to see what a short meditation can do to blood sugar levels.....

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