Diabetes in Society


Healthy food policy: is taxation an option?

Obesity is rising rapidly in adult and child populations in virtually every part of the world. This brings with it a high risk of diabetes, heart disease and other serious conditions requiring expensive long-term medical care. In this article, Tim Lobstein and Philip James look at the role of governments in influencing what we eat. The authors propose ways in which governments can help to ensure that healthy diets are chosen over unhealthy ones.

The history of diabetes nutrition therapy: from starvation to evidence-based recommendations

“For forty-eight hours after admission to the hospital the patient is kept on an ordinary diet, to determine the severity of his diabetes. Then he is starved, and no food allowed save whiskey and black coffee. The whiskey is given in the coffee: 1 ounce of whiskey every two hours, from 7am until 7pm. The whiskey is not an essential part of treatment; it merely furnishes a few calories and keeps the patient more comfortable while he is being starved.” Starvation (Allen) Treatment of Diabetes (1915).

Diabetes-related websites: are they readable?

The Internet has become a useful tool that is relatively easy to operate. With little effort, huge amounts of information can be found about specific health conditions or health in general. Views and concerns about health can be shared with literally millions of other people; spreading health information to people around the world is a simple process. Clearly however, there is a need to evaluate this information

Reviving the St Vincent Declaration

On the occasion of the signing of the St Vincent Declaration in St Vincent, Italy in October 1989, representatives of diabetes organizations and government health departments from European countries agreed unanimously on key health objectives for people with diabetes. Five-year targets were incorporated within the framework of the Declaration, which effectively recognized that diabetes outcomes were measurable; European nations were thus challenged to improve standards of care.

The nutrition transition and the global shift towards obesity

Populations worldwide are becoming more corpulent. The levels of overweight and obesity in many low- to middle-income countries such as Mexico, Egypt, and South Africa rival that of the country used as the benchmark for this problem, the USA. Moreover, the rates of increase in obesity in these countries are double to quadruple those in the USA. In this article, Barry Popkin reports on the impact of important shifts in nutritional patterns and the trend towards inactivity.

Integrating psycho-social issues into national diabetes programmes

It is widely agreed that people with diabetes can lead a 'normal' life. Like people who do not have the condition, people with diabetes can function fully in family, workplace, and community settings. However, it is also accepted that diabetes self-care is complex and demanding. Being obliged to balance food intake and exercise against medication, self-administer injections, and self-test blood for glucose levels is not 'normal'. The demands of diabetes self-management can impact negatively on the psychological status of people with the condition. In this article, Ruth

Psycho-social care for people with diabetes: what the guidelines say

Results from a number of recent studies highlight the importance of psycho-social factors in diabetes management. Research shows that psychological co-morbidity is prevalent in people with diabetes. As a result, well-being, self-care and glycaemic control are adversely affected. Depression is common in people with diabetes, and

Diabetes attitudes, wishes and needs

The overall objective of Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs (DAWN) is to improve the psycho-social support for people with diabetes. This global Programme is led by Novo Nordisk, in partnership with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), and an advisory panel of leading diabetes experts. The DAWN activities began with the DAWN Study in 2001. This global investigation into the affective aspects of the condition facilitated comparisons and cross-referencing between the key players in the diabetes community. The key finding was that critical gaps

Lower income families feel the pinch in the USA

The growing diabetes crisis in the United States is a well reported fact. Nevertheless, diabetes-affected families are often being left out in the cold. Many are forced to dig deeply into their own pockets because, in many cases, even if insurance is available, insulin, syringes and blood glucose testing equipment as well as medical services such as outpatient education, so essential for diabetes care, are not covered.

A cultural approach to diabetes therapy in the Middle East

The Middle East comprises countries such as Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Autonomous Territories and Syria, and contains several ethnic and religious groups. Moslem Arabs, however, are, by far, the largest population group and they form the dominant culture. Certain values belonging to this culture serve to make acceptance of diabetes nutritional therapy difficult. Nevertheless, it cannot be ignored that people with diabetes in the Middle East have to survive and try to be an accepted part of the society in which they live.