With growing wealth in many developing countries around the world, diet and lifestyle changes are showing dramatic increases in obesity and related diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But more than rising standards of living, lack of education seems to contribute to these dismal trends.
As a dietitian and health counselor, I have no problem with declaring obesity a disease, especially considering the complexity of potential causes, some of which are indeed beyond an individual's control. Having said that, I also believe that the only appropriate response to illness is to make every effort to overcome it as quickly possible.
Type 1 diabetes was once lethal but thanks to the Nobel prize-winning research conducted at the University of Toronto in 1921-22, had become a controllable condition through daily injections of insulin derived from cattle and pigs. My father's story reminds me about the importance of universities as places that create the space for big "what if" and "I wonder" questions.
Avoid Skipping Meals: People living with diabetes have leaky livers, meaning that their livers release sugar into the bloodstream if they don't eat every four to six hours. Therefore, skipping a meal, even if you overindulged during the previous one, can do more harm than good to blood glucose levels.
Despite our best efforts, his levels were not improving. His diabetes educator suggested maintaining daily contact. Normally this would mean time off work and school. Instead, I simply uploaded his information and waited for instruction on what adjustments needed to be made to his pump until his levels eventually stabilized.
Many moms and dads dive into research and read everything they come across. There is no right way to handle news of this nature. The moment illness strikes, life becomes split into two sections: before and after. And it's normal to yearn to get back to before. Before was a time of blissful unawareness.
It's becoming clearer that what we are putting into the environment is returning to haunt us, resulting in unnecessary loss of lives, malnourishment, disease and starvation. Another key lesson is, the developed nations are not shielded from climate change, nor do they have the capacity to deal with a devastation of such cataclysmic proportion as the recent severe weather event in Colorado.