I thought it was important to reach out to the American Diabetes Association and see what their "Stop Diabetes" program is all about. A representative informed me that on November 2, 2009 the program began in an effort to educate people on the many levels diabetes impacts individuals. It was also created to ignite a sense of urgency and inspire individuals to get involved in "the fight".
The representative, Harold Young of the Center for Information and Community Support states that "Scientists do not know the exact cause of type 2 diabetes." This exact sentiment is echoed in other pages around the blogosphere, including The Real Food Revivalist.
Also, in the correspondence with Mr. Young, he explains that while there is no known cause of type II diabetes, it is associated with several risk factors including genetics. He strongly affirms that most individuals do not realize type II diabetes is a true disease.
That it is a disease has been well documented in population studies. In the book, Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, he details many different cultures across the globe who were directly observed by doctors on site for periods of several years to decades. These were isolated groups - eating their normal diet which mainly consisted of meat - and were completely cut off from current Western staple foods (i.e. white flour, sugar, rice and their various combinations). Within this book, also documented were the Native Americans of the United States - in which over a hundred thousand individuals' health status were documented by doctors.
In all these cases where Western foods were concerned, there were no virtually no cases of diabetes or appendicitis - not to mention extremely low incidence of malignant cancer. It was only after the introduction of Western foods, which essentially was refined carbohydrate - that these same previously isolated groups began to experience the epidemic of Western diseases.
These same groups of individuals consisted for the most part on animals, as often as possible ingesting the fattiest meat.
"There isn't a one-size fits all diabetic diet. Everything is individualized so you can have more flexibility in planning meals to fit your schedule, lifestyle and food preferences. If a person with diabetes chooses to eat a low carbohydrate diet and has the approval of their health care team to do so, then they can. If a certain diet works well for you does not mean that it will work well for all people with diabetes."
Essentially, Mr. Young is stating that even if eating a certain way were to be beneficial, we don't want to be pushy about it. It may not complement someone's lifestyle. If the ADA is so concerned about patient outcomes and the progression of diabetes, why are they not more aggressive on diet?
I explicitly asked if he realized there was a cure for type II diabetes, which I have seen first-hand. His response:
"There are some people who are able to manage their blood glucose, through a healthy diet and regular exercise. This does not mean they no longer have diabetes. They need careful ongoing assessments of blood glucose control conducted by their health care provider, as those with normal blood glucose levels are at risk for a return of hyperglycemia."
Note the word "manage". This seems to be the key factor in the ADA and other diabetes campaigns across the country. This infers there is no cure for this disease.
Mr. Young claims there is no scientific proof for the cause of type II diabetes, yet we know how to diagnose it - continuous high blood-glucose levels and marked insulin resistance. What causes insulin resistance? Continuously high levels of glucose in one's blood. What causes continuously high levels of glucose in one's blood? Something we ingest or come in contact with that converts to glucose in our blood.
The test of this theory has been well established. Someone with type II decides to commit to a low-carbohydrate lifestyle. They eventually ween themselves from the need for insulin. They continue to have normalized blood glucose levels. Is this not curing the disease when you have no symptoms?
If you cannot diagnose the disease when someone comes in for a test, then it does not exist. Or am I completely missing a point?
Mr. Young clearly states that it is not curable, yet this runs counter to the National Diabetes Information Clearing House (NDIC), although much of what the NDIC is counter to actual science.
They state that insulin resistance and prediabetes can be reversed and is completely preventable. However, they state that it requires both dietary and physical activity. The mention that individuals must be "...making wise food choices..." For information on their wise food choices, see below:
In their "Points to Remember" section :
Individuals can prevent or delay onset of type II diabetes by eating a diet low in fat.
Some quick pointers about the consensus from the worldwide diabetes conglomeration:
1)Type II diabetes has associated risk factors, but no known reason for contraction
2)Eating a low fat diet and exercising may ward off this disease, or at least delay the onset
3)Type II diabetes, once contracted can only be managed as there is no known cure
4)Genetics seem to play a strong role in development