Humans are susceptible to dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of diseases. Our government urges inoculation against many of them, and whether or not you accept their kind offer is a matter of personal decision, conviction, and belief. I’m not going to get into that discussion, at least in this column. Nor will I be discussing traditional disease prevention, whether or not you should use hand sanitizer or whether it’s part of the Great Conspiracy, and so on.
What I AM going to talk about is a disease that people are being inflicted with at greater and greater rates, one which has a high rate of death, and which is totally and wholly preventable, by you. Not with medicine, not with a doctor’s help, but you, by yourself, and with your family. I can’t think of a better disease to attack first than one which you yourself can prevent, without help from a single other person and without expense, without a purchase of paraphernalia, and so on.
If you haven’t already figured it out, the diseases I’m talking about are diabetes and obesity. I’m not talking about Type I diabetes, which is usually developed in childhood and causes the pancreas to cease insulin production. I’m talking about Type II diabetes. There are some ugly truths associated with these diseases. Some of you are already leaning back in your chair gritting your teeth and saying this just isn’t true, that diabetes is a metabolic disease and that no matter what the doctor says, you’re not fat, you’re big boned. Okay, I’m big-boned too. As a matter of fact, my frame is so large for an average woman that if I use the standard BMI charts, I’m morbidly obese. However, if I measure myself and use the more complex calculations, I’m overweight and just on the edge of obese.
Look, I’m big boned. I’m also FAT. My daughter and I have had this tail-chasing argument thirty times this past year. If you’re wearing a 3X and you wheeze when you walk, male or female, I don’t care what the charts say or what your doctor says, your heart, your pump, is being stressed and it believes you’re fat. In the final analysis, your heart is going to have the last gasp.
The combination of diabetes and obesity, both preventable, is now being called diabesity by some practitioners. The two conditions go utterly hand in hand, along with high blood pressure, high blood fats, COPD, and the need for a C-PAP at night.
WTSHTF, who will be better able to cope? Someone who says they are big-boned, please pass the inhaler and can they have another helping of dinner, or someone who is lean, active, and can run? Are you aware that Type II diabetes, which used to affect only older people, is on the rise even in the very young? We’ve abandoned traditional patterns of eating, which included fruits only in season and the rare canned and preserved fruit item, and now eat fruits and drink juices year-round, along with candy bars, processed sugars and flours, fats, and all kinds of tasty goodies. We’ve gone from running for our lives and to catch tomorrow’s dinner to sitting on the couch eating chips while we wait for the pizza.
By now, you’re probably thinking darn this woman is depressing, this is the New Year and we should have new beginnings and not this depressing stuff. Well, this IS a New Year. This IS your new beginning. Don’t let your heart have the last gasp.