January 17, 2013

Starting Small Is Good for Diabetes Prevention

This author knows how to push the wrong buttons and even though the message in general is a great idea, her delivery leaves a lot to be desired. The overarching message is for people that are hesitant about changing habits and ways of doing things is to start small and slowly develop good eating habits and other habits. Why the author could not have emphasized the positive side of this is a mystery to me. Instead, she uses scare tactics that people with diabetes do not appreciate hearing. Yes, I know, writing style and all that, but when introducing this to people that may not have diabetes yet, there has to be a better introduction.

Then in the suggestions area for a food plan, the author uses the National Institute of Health (NIH) recommendations. This means the USDA food plan of high carbohydrate /low fat. As many of us with diabetes are well aware, this is the formula for failure. Low carbohydrate/high fat is more successful over time and is the food plan of choice. Yet every time we are on the topic of potential aids for stopping or reducing the effects of diabetes, we hear the same plan for high carbohydrate/low fat mantra of the USDA, the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and other organizations.

Other than the suggestion of starting small to have initial successes, which may work well for some individuals, we are left with scare tactics and the wrong food plan. The idea of starting out slowly does work for people that are hesitant to make changes. Having early successes by setting short-term goals is good for many people. In the area of exercise, this is always good to start out slowly. However, even this author does not understand the importance of discussing an exercise plan with their doctor. The doctor should understand your current health and know if there are obstacles to an exercise regimen you have planned. Your doctor may find it necessary to do some tests to determine if there may be some limitations to your regimen. Once the doctor knows that there are not limitations, he may have suggestions, which will assist you in developing a more effective exercise regimen. It is wise not to leave the doctor out of the plan and encounter problems later.

Yes, we would like to see the current increase in diabetes stop, but until people are willing to start making dietary changes, start an exercise program, and develop other changes in their habits, this will not happen. Starting with small changes and having success is good, but getting people motivated is and should be the goal of physicians to begin converting people out of the sedentary lifestyle.

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