Diabetes Cases Rise as the UK Piles on the Pounds

The heavier people get, the more likely they are to become yet another statistic in the rising numbers of people afflicted with diabetes.  The UK is showing that very clearly right now, with its latest figures revealing how there has been a 50 percent increase in diabetic sufferers since 2006.  Indeed, just in the last year figures have risen by close to 120,000 according to Britain’s not-for-profit organization, Diabetes UK

Big Bodies, Big Bucks

Apart from the danger element, this is costing the country a fortune.  Indeed, the country’s National  Health System, the NHS, (a government-based health organization that has to provide free health care for all), is now spending a staggering £9billion (nearly $14.5billion) per annum on treating its diabetic patients.  This amounts for nearly a tenth of its entire budget which is really way too much.  Of course, when it is a case of a genetic disorder (Type 1), then it is not under the person’s control or diet-related.   But in the UK it seems that these patients draining the NHS finances are suffering from Type 1.  Indeed, a staggering 90 percent of UK diabetic sufferers have Type 2. What is equally worrying is the increasing amount of children – now up to 1,400 – being diagnosed with Type 2.  In the past, this was more-or-less only seen in adults.

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It really seems to be an issue of carrying around excess weight that is resulting in this huge increase in the disease which leads to a greater risk of heart problems, strokes, eye issues and more.  It’s unfortunate since so much progress is being made on the treatment of life-threatening diseases that are less within our control (such as cancer) at a time that more of us are doing this to ourselves, somewhat unnecessarily.  Clearly education is needed on how to combat this issue so people do not suffer or prematurely die, unnecessarily.

Nutty NHS?

NHS Branding 5-Year Old “Overweight”

In a shocking letter, parents Amanda and Darren Watkins were told by the National Health Service (NHS) that their five-year-old son – who weighs in at a mere 52 pounds – is “overweight.” Not only do his parents claim “there is not an ounce on him,” which can be seen clearly from the picture in the Daily Mail article, but Thomas Watkins swims, engages in Physical Education classes at school twice a week, energetically runs around a football field and “even attends healthy cooking classes in the evening.” Indeed, it was only six months ago that he was allowed his first burger!

Crazy Measuring Method

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It seems that the NHS in the UK has come up with The National Child Measurement Programme (run by the Department of Health) to measure and weigh children. But it looks like all this is doing is making the NHS look foolish. That wouldn’t be so bad if that was all it was doing but as Thomas’ parents point out, “this could make children as young as five worry about making themselves thin – when they are fine as it is. It is absolutely crazy.” The system has in place for seven years and is intended to monitor children’s health when they start and leave the primary school system by calculating weight through the BMI.

Flawed System

It’s all very well in theory but clearly – as Thomas Watkins case shows – it doesn’t work in practice since not only does Thomas eat well but he leads an extremely active life as well. Mrs. Watkins thus termed the system “flawed.” Apparently in Thomas’ case this might have happened because the boy is tall, which, in the system deems him overweight. As well, according to Gillian Hamer, a nutritionist, the BMI system is anyway problematic since “it does not distinguish between muscle and fat.” This has even rendered “super fit footballers” as being rendered “overweight” since muscle weighs more than fat. Instead, what should be measured is the waist; that gives a much more accurate picture and would no doubt render Thomas’ initial assessment as completely inaccurate.