Originally published September 4 2015
Junk food and sodas to bankrupt national health care systems
by Jennifer Lea Reynolds
(NaturalNews) Diabetes has always been a concerning health issue, with the unfortunate possibility that life-threatening complications could arise in certain individuals with the disease. In many instances, blindness, stroke and amputation are par for the course for those afflicted. While diabetes is certainly not a new illness, there are growing warnings about the epidemic's severity.
In the UK, for example, experts from the charity Diabetes UK are practically pleading with the government to take more action to fight diabetes; they say that not doing so will bankrupt their National Health Service (NHS). As it stands already, NHS data has revealed that general practitioners are spending approximately one tenth of their budget on diabetes medication prescriptions. Between that and concerns over people receiving inadequate care due to the speed in which new cases are developing, Diabetes UK stresses the urgency of this matter.
Expert: it's necessary to "act now" to save healthcare system and help diabeticsBarbara Young, the Diabetes UK chief executive, says, "With a record number of people now living with diabetes in the UK, there is no time to waste – the Government must act now."
She explains that diabetes currently costs the NHS about £10 billion annually (the equivalent of approximately $15 billion US dollars), 80 percent of which goes towards efforts to keep complications at bay. Young says the potential to save money and provide better care is essential and possible, but the time to act is now.
"Until then," she says, "avoidable human suffering will continue and the costs of treating diabetes will continue to spiral out of control and threaten to bankrupt the NHS."
Interestingly, the most common type of diabetes afflicting more than nine out of ten people - type 2 - can be reversed or at least better controlled without as much reliance on medical professionals. A reduction in new cases and an improvement in existing ones means (drum roll please) greatly reducing the chances that the healthcare system will go bankrupt.
A junk food diet is a key contributor to the diabetes epidemicIt mostly boils down to weight management; an unhealthy dietary lifestyle often leads to obesity, which is linked to type 2 diabetes.
According to a Daily Mail video, Diabetes UK expert Robin Hewings explains that 750 people are being diagnosed with diabetes daily. He refers to the epidemic as a "national health emergency." He's sure that reducing weight and obesity issues will help keep the problem under control.
If you visit just about any supermarket or restaurant or take a look at most television commercials, you'll see that junk food and sodas lurk in almost every aisle, restaurant and advertisement.
Sure, we have the ability to shun these so-called desirable foods, so the blame can't be placed entirely on the marketers who put them there. However, the growing production of sugary sodas and the tempting placement of junk foods by these people shows no effort on their part to contribute to a healthier society. As long as their pockets are filled, they don't seem to care if people are developing diabetes in droves or that the entire healthcare system could go belly up.
Healthy efforts exist, but they need to become more commonplaceOn the plus side, there are efforts to help focus on better health that could help manage weight and keep diabetes at bay.
For example, some fast food chains no longer automatically give children a soda as the only option to go along with their meal; instead, they're given the choice of milk, fruit juice or water. If they want soda, they must ask. Several schools are engaging in efforts to teach children about fruits and vegetables or have moved away from the likes of a typical French fry and pizza lunch menu. There's even one school in North Carolina that started a "Read and Ride" program in which children pedal on stationary bikes while enjoying a book.
Even at some state fairs, the effort to go healthy is entering the picture. At Iowa's state fair, dietitian Nikki Stahr said she enjoys running a booth that teaches portion control and provides people with healthier options. Fresh fruit and salad-on-a-stick are some choices that are offered, which are certainly better on the waistline than fried cookies and funnel cakes.
There's a long way to go. Collectively, everyone - the government, food corporations, fast food chains, marketers and consumers - must engage in wiser choices that exclude junk food and soda and turn to healthier options that will control weight gain and ultimately lead to fewer diabetes cases and a stronger healthcare system.
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