FOR ALMOST 100 MILLION AMERICANS, DIABETES IS KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR
SO WHY DOES THE SO-CALLED EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE CONTINUE TO SAY DIETARY CARBOHYDRATE AND SUGAR CONSUMPTION IS NOT A PROBLEM?
One of the more well known and respected of the thousands of medical journals is the ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE. A study that came out just the other day (The Scientific Basis of Guideline Recommendations on Sugar Intake: A Systematic Review) reviewed numerous guidelines published over the past two decades dealing with the effects of dietary sugar consumption on human health. They then made some recommendations of their own based on the conclusions of these collective guidelines.
What conclusions did this latest study from the Annals offer? After looking guidelines from nine different organizations that all, “advocated for reduced intake of nonintrinsic free or added sugars and/or decreased consumption of foods and beverages high in refined sugars, and recommendations provided specific sugar intake limits,” the authors concluded that none were really valid because the, “quality of evidence supporting recommendations was low to very low. Guidelines on dietary sugar do not meet criteria for trustworthy recommendations. Public health officials and their public audience should be aware of these limitations.” But it didn’t end there.
The authors went on to argue that on top of the poor evidence, they couldn’t be trusted because, “most of the guidelines either did not provide a statement about funding and its influence in the process of guideline development or failed to state conflicts of interest of authors or the guideline panel.” CONFLICT OF INTEREST? Really? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Guess who sponsored this particular study? Can anyone say Coca Cola?
That’s right folks; they, along with the numerous other soda, candy, and junk food manufacturers that are members of the Technical Committee on Dietary Carbohydrates of the North American branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (essentially a lobbying organization), funded a study published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal — a study telling MD’s that there is no reason to recommend that people consume less sugar. Listen to these authors lather the butter, while defending their ‘neutrality’ in the matter…
“ILSI North America is a public, nonprofit foundation that provides a forum to advance understanding of scientific issues related to the nutritional quality and safety of the food supply by sponsoring research programs, educational seminars, workshops, and publications. ILSI North America receives 60% of its financial support from its more than 400 industry members. The funding source had no role in the interpretation of data, manuscript review, or publication decisions.”
This, folks, is the definition of a joke. Science has shown us repeatedly that the last sentence of the quote above is never true. Ever (HERE). And what exactly was the purpose of their research anyway? Wasn’t this essentially the modus oporandi Big Tobacco used forty years ago — paying scientists for studies to discredit any research showing their product in a bad light (THE INSIDER)? JUNK FOOD? JUNK SCIENCE? What’s the difference as long as everyone’s making money? The thing is, junk science from the sugar industry has been the status quo for at least six decades — since Ancel Keys infamous and discredited ‘Seven Nation’s Study‘ from 1956 (HERE).
Please note that this is not similar to the “junk science” seen with FLU VACCINATION RESEARCH. This is more like what we saw with the growing number of scientists pointing out that the RESEARCH ON DIETARY FAT continues to be based on junk science and false premises.
Truthfully, it’s probably quite similar what we have seen as far as CHOLESTEROL GUIDELINES, ANTIBIOTIC GUIDELINES, CORTICOSTEROID GUIDELINES and ANY NUMBER OF OTHER GUIDELINES are concerned. Never forget folks, it’s all about the money. Maybe there was a time when this wasn’t the case, but today it’s an indisputable, cold, hard fact — even if the authors of this study try and convince you otherwise. Follow the links and you’ll see that “Medical Guidelines” are frequently created by the highest bidder.
WHY IS IT SUCH A BIG DEAL? CAN ANYONE SAY “DIABETES EPIDEMIC”?
While there are few who would argue that our national problem with diabetes is not completely out of control, it seems that in similar fashion to something I wrote about recently — BEING OVERWEIGHT IS NOT AS BIG A PROBLEM AS YOU’VE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE — we are now hearing that since almost all American adults have pre-diabetes, it’s really no big deal either. (Take THIS SIMPLE QUIZ to see if you have pre-diabetes.)
I guess I could say the same thing about dental carries (CAVITIES). Since virtually everyone has at least one or two, they could almost be considered “normal”. Usual? Undoubtedly. Normal? No way. A brand new study in JAMA Internal Medicine (Prediabetes Risk in Adult Americans According to a Risk Test) stated that, “We estimated the proportion of the adult, nondiabetic US population that would be classified as being at high risk for prediabetes.” How bad was it?
According to this study, of the 125 million adults in America, about 30 million have full-blown diabetes, while about 2.5 times that number —- approximately 75 million — have pre-diabetes. That works out to nearly 85% of all American adults having significant sugar dysregulation issues. Throw in HYPOGLYCEMIA — an early step in the path toward diabetes — and you’d get several million more.
The same issue of JAMA IM carried an editorial letter (The Medicalization of Common Conditions) that arguing against such labels as pre-diabetes, stating, “We suggest a better approach to preventing the epidemic of obesity and its multiple health-related complications is emphasis on healthful diet, weight loss when appropriate, and increased physical activity at all levels—by schools, the medical profession, and public health and governmental agencies.”
The problem is, as I have shown you any number of times (I am not even going to take the time required to plug in the links here as there are so many), this approach is not working, and it’s not working for many different reasons. I believe most can be filed under one of the bullets below
- PARENTS HAVE STOPPED BEING PARENTS: I’ve talked about this at length in the past, but when parents allow their children from very young ages to spend every spare moment in front of a screen (HERE), with little or no exercise, physical exertion, chores, or responsibilities, bad outcomes of all sorts are on the horizon. This bullet almost always goes hand-in-hand with the next.
- SUGAR & JUNK CARB ADDICTIONS: As crazy as it sounds, the average teen is getting the majority of their calories from — soda (HERE). And for those who don’t believe SUGAR / CARB ADDICTIONS are real, just talk to a dozen random people about giving it up for a month. For the record, while I am a huge advocate of EXERCISE (a great way of reducing INSULIN RESISTANCE), what you eat is infinitely more important as far as solving this problem is concerned.
- DIABETES IS NOT REALLY A “BLOOD SUGAR” PROBLEM: I have seen lots and lots of people doing fairly strict LOW CARB DIETS (which I have recommended to my patients for over two decades), but can’t seem to get their blood sugar under control. There is always a reason for this. Diabetes is not (I repeat, not) caused by consuming too much sugar and simple carbohydrate. It is caused by inflammation. This is why I do whatever I can to get my patients to understand the SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS OF INFLAMMATION. For instance, Cardiometabolic Syndrome is frequently caused by dysbiosis, which is almost always the result of taking antibiotics (HERE, HERE, HERE, or HERE) or other drugs with SIMILAR EFFECTS. Believe me when I say that there are any number of other potential causes. It’s why it’s not terribly uncommon to see PEOPLE OF NORMAL WEIGHT who are either diabetic or pre-diabetic.
The really cool thing about these bullets is that they can be solved. I have created a post showing you how to address both the common and uncommon potential causes of inflammation in your life, which will help you address your blood sugar dysregulation issues. I don’t charge a nickel for it, and am not pushing tons of NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS as the cure.
Rather than jump right in and start today (after all, you are standing at ground-zero of the annual holiday sugar holocaust), spend some time reading and learning. You’ll quickly see that I’m not into “medicalizing” problems in an attempt to push more drugs — especially drugs that don’t work (HERE). It’s important because if you don’t grasp the devastating effects of DIABETES, you will likely die a slow, miserable death.
And if you are interested in seeing a similar study that was done a number of years ago that came to very different conclusions about sugar consumption as related to diabetes than the one we discussed today, HERE it is.