Monthly Archives: May 2014

Weightwatchers living off the fat of the land!

WW cheeseI am horrified today to read reports that the NHS have decided to refer obese patients with type 2 diabetes to Weightwatchers and their peers in an effort to meet NICE guidelines.

If these clubs worked we wouldn’t have such a huge issue with obesity today – they have been going long enough to have made a positive impact.  They haven’t!

Why?

Because it’s not in their interests to be effective.  A former director of Weightwatchers made this shocking admission in the BBC 2 documentary series “The Men Who Made Us Thin”.  This quote from the BBC media website says it all:

Jacques speaks to a former director of Weight Watchers, who admits that customer failure was a significant factor in the company’s profits: people have to keep coming back.”

The full horrors underpinning the flawed notion of Weightwatchers as our supposed national solution are revealed in other reports this week which expose the real truth about Weightwatchers branded food products.

Not a good news day for the health of the nation!

Opinions yo-yoing as much as weight loss?

yo yoAnother day, another theory in the world of mainstream medical science?  Last week the headlines ran with a story that weight loss at any age was beneficial – even if it ultimately was regained.  It’s not a story I chose to cover last week, because it was blatantly wrong in my opinion.  It absolutely matters if people lose and regain weight in that yo-yo dieting sense.  And it matters because it messes up body composition – causing a gradual exchange of healthy lean tissue for body fat.  This was identified in some good research a few years ago.  So the advice last week that:

A new study from the UK suggests it is never too late for adults to lose weight. No matter when in adulthood it happens and even if the weight goes back on again, it can still have a long-term beneficial effect on the heart and cardiovascular system.”

seemed pretty crazy to me! Even though it was a story reported in the Lancet, it was one that I couldn’t identify with at all.

And nor should the press have identified so readily with it – after all it’s a mere 3-4 years ago that the headlines warned of the dangers of dieting!  Then they said yo yo dieting was OK after all.  Then they said it was dangerous – again!

Was I wrong?  Well thankfully not – because the news reports this morning state the opposite of those headlines last week – that it is vital that weight lost stays off! This is a piece of reporting that I can happily share with you – because I know it backs up previous good quality research!

What this shows me – and what I want to share with you – is that it’s really important to understand the why behind the how when it comes to weight loss and health.  It isn’t enough to blindly follow advice without that advice having been explained in detail, and for you to understand exactly how the food you are being asked to eat will be processed in your body, what effects it will have, and what the outcomes are targeted to be.  And it isn’t enough for journalists to jump on a new headline without troubling themselves to look into exactly what they are reporting – because the result is another day another theory, and more confusion.  That’s not fair to those of you who are determined to look after your weight and health, but are being misinformed and misled by unsubstantiated reporting.

And that’s where RebalanceDiabetes is different: we don’t just tell you the how, we go to great lengths to educate you about the why.  At the end of a RebalanceDiabetes program you look and feel a whole lot better, but you also have the skills to look after yourself for life – no more confusion, just clarity!

Will the NHS collapse under the weight of obesity?

fat lassSo, according to Dr. Hilary Jones, the obesity crisis will be the thing that finally bankrupts the NHS?  Well I have no doubt that the costs associated with obesity and its consequences – diabetes, heart disease etc. – will indeed become an increasing burden on our health economy.

But I am thoroughly sick and tired of those responsible for creating the obesity crisis not being called to account!

First we have headlines that blame foods for our problems – I am thinking about the one that says “Fruit juice timebomb“, and the one asking “Why sugar is ruining our health“.  OK – again I have no doubt that these foods are harmful.  But foods do not promote themselves to us – people promote them to us!  The people who sell them; the so-called health professionals who promote them and advise patients to use them; and the policy makers who turn a blind eye to all this; they are the real culprits here: not the foods themselves.

In his article on his personal experience of dealing with diabetes the former Chief Exec of the the NHS, David Nicholson, openly tells us that his hospital dietician says that diabetics can “eat almost anything”.  Erm – NO!!

Then we have the lovely but totally misguided celebs who this week praised a massively overweight pole fitness performer on Britain’s Got Talent for being a great role model to young women.  Yes this girl has body confidence and pole-fitness talent, and I am truly glad she isn’t influenced by unhealthy skinniness, but to describe a 15-stone-heading-right-into-diabetes-and-other-health-problems-27-year-old-woman as a good example really doesn’t help the cause for a healthy nation. And before you get upset about me criticising Emma Haslam – I am not criticising Emma Haslam at all.  I have no idea why she is overweight despite obviously training so hard – but I am prepared to take a guess that she also is being criminally misled by the food and medical industries about just what constitutes healthy eating!

So this week I am right behind the calls for food regulation.

As David Nicholson identified for himself – he needed rules (not permission to eat anything he fancied – albeit on the background of a healthy diet).  He knew he wouldn’t hack it.  And now that we have a nation of people who believe they deserve, and can get away with, sugary treats on a daily basis, as the food industry would like you to believe, I sadly have to similarly conclude that many people can’t hack it either! And that’s because although I believe people really do try, their efforts are constantly undermined by mis-information!!

So sensible regulation it is then!

I am completely with Dr Tim Lobstein at the World Obesity Federation who said:

If obesity was an infectious disease, we would have seen billions of dollars being invested in bringing it under control. But because obesity is largely caused by the overconsumption of fatty and sugary foods, we have seen policy-makers unwilling to take on the corporate interests who promote these foods.”

And I am merely amused by Terry Jones’ (director of communications at the Food and Drink Federation) cynical claim that:

UK food and drink manufacturers were “already” supporting improvements to public health through many of the measures outlined in the recommendations.”

Sadly he does seem to be fooling an awful lot of people – along with those policy makers who have demonstrated a complete disregard for public health so far!

So will obesity cause the collapse of the NHS?  Well only with the help of the food industry, the medical profession and the government!

The NHS are STILL giving incorrect nutritional advice for diabetes

The evidence is there – low fat diets are NOT appropriate for people with diabetes (actually they are inappropriate for most people but that’s another story)!

Whether it’s an 8-year clinical trial comparing a diet in which 30% of calorific intake comes from fat beats a low fat diet for effects on HbA1c; or a randomised pilot trial that shows the less carbs the better for diabetes; or a randomised trial that shows “the low-carbohydrate diet induced lower insulin and glucose excursions compared with the low-fat diet“, all the evidence appears to be falling on deaf NHS ears. 

Why do I think this?  Well, a lovely client of mine has recently been diagnosed as “prediabetic” with a HbA1c of 43.  And the advice she has received, in the form of a 6-page letter, is to eat:

bread, pasta, chapatis, potatoes, yam, noodles, rice and cereals…cut down on fat – a low fat diet benefits health“.  

OMG!! as they say!

This advice couldn’t be more inappropriate. An the evidence has been showing us that for several years now.  Why have the NHS not moved forward in their archaic, and potentially dangerous, advice? If you are receiving this type of information from your GP please, please question it.  My blogs, FB posts, tweets etc. all point you in the direction of the most up-to-date nutritional research and advice for diabetes.

Here are some more recent findings – finally bringing good quality proteins into the equation:

Whey protein is being linked with lower rates of diabetes. Any good nutritional therapist will understand that protein is bound to be a vital ingredient in the formula of healthy eating for diabetes – just like good fats it slows the effects of carbs in your food helping to prevent glucose and insulin spikes, and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

Take care on the amounts of protein-rich foods you choose however.  Portion control is important.  Those enjoying meat-feasts might be taking a good thing a step too far: consuming twice the daily recommended amounts of protein from meats has been shown to compound diabetes.

Confused?  Don’t be.  Protein is beneficial in appropriate quantities.  Shout up if you need help understanding what you own portion sizes should be!

 

End days for the NHS?

moneydownthedrainSo last week my blog focused on the financial worries of the NHS, and how that might impact on diabetes care in the UK. Not as a distant concern, but an immediate one – taking into account a key report on the unsustainability of the NHS.

If the imminent collapse of this beloved institution seems overblown and far-fetched, you might be unnerved to find that GPs are considering charging for each visit to their surgeries, as reported by the Telegraph.

I love the quote, “But some leading doctors suggested the measure could put off patients with a genuine need for help, and could “hinder the doctor-patient relationship“.  Well for sure it will change it.  It hopefully means that patients will expect results for their money!  

And where diabetes is concerned it’s about time we expected some results for the £10 billion spent within the NHS every year!  For £10 billion we should be expecting a year-on-year improvement, yet the latest figures from Diabetes UK continue to make the same old gloomy predictions:

A report by charity Diabetes UK, seen by The Daily Mail, says managing the condition already accounts for about 10 per cent of the total NHS budget, with most being spent on complications such as amputations and strokes. Costs will continue to rise over the next 20 years, warns the charity, when diabetes is expected to account for 17 per cent of the NHS budget. Diabetes UK argues that money is often spent badly, with sufferers diagnosed late, meaning they have to spend extra days in hospital running up huge bills for the NHS. Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “The NHS is spending an eye-watering amount on diabetes but the money isn’t being used effectively, which is running up a huge bill for the future“.

In the same report Diabetes UK acknowledge that hope lies in education – yet reports that only 10% patients are being offered that.  And they are unlikely to be offered more care from a devoid financial pot I would suggest!

It just doesn’t pan out does it?  A need for a rise from 10% to 17% of the total NHS budget to be used for diabetes care is hardly likely to happen with the current financial predictions. How can it?

So will you spend your own cash at the GP surgery (on top of the billions in taxes they already receive how can you be sure this won’t be pouring your money down the drain)?  Or are you ready yet to take up access to the means for much better clinical outcomes for yourself and your loved ones?

Ready and willing to help for a fraction of what you might have to spend on existing NHS services – RebalanceDiabetes reporting for duty – click here!

 

The cost of diabetes care, why you should worry and what to do about it

costs of diabetesSo – with refreshing honesty we are finally admitting that the NHS is running out of money and the levels and costs of care are unsustainable.  This isn’t some distant problem – according to a new report it’s due to kick in and become very real from 2015. That’s one year from now.

In just one year we can expect to begin to see the already struggling NHS really fraying at the seams, and qualities of care beginning to decline.

If the existing standards of care were good that would be a problem.  But the existing standards of care for diabetes are already woeful, so it’s a potentially catastrophic problem!  The National Audit Office acknowledge this is in their 2012 report, stating “The Department of Health has failed to deliver diabetes care to the standard it set out as long ago as 2001. This has resulted in people with diabetes developing avoidable complications, in a high number of preventable deaths and in increased costs for the NHS.”

The NHS already spends 10% of it entire annual budget on diabetes care – that’s billions of pounds every year. And that’s at the current levels of diabetes in the UK.

What then happens when the levels of diabetes rise as predicted: from a current 3 million (ish) people diagnosed today to the 5 million (at least) now being predicted within the next decade?

It’s a gloomy picture.  No money to deliver even the inadequate care we currently offer within the UK, let alone raise standards of care.  It seems inevitable that those who care about their health, who actually value their health, who want to keep their health, will have to face the reality of self-funding.  Because if they don’t then the picture is really bleak.

Because most adults today have grown up used to the idea that healthcare in the UK is free at the point of service (of course the NHS is not “free” it costs billions in taxes) we probably have no real understanding of what that will actually mean to us. A little research shows that the realistic lifetime cost of diabetes care for an individual is about the same as a mortgage. In the US an adult diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes can expect to spend an average of $85,000, and up to $130,000 on diabetes care, according to new figures. About half of that will be spent on perfectly preventable complications, including amputations, heart disease and stroke.

We should worry!  Because, as we know these perfectly preventable complications are already not being prevented in many parts of the UK.  A Diabetes UK report reveals this so-called post code lottery.

The most scandalous thing about this situation is that all it needs is a little education about nutrition and lifestyle to seriously slash these predictions.

Since 2005 NICE have recommended that everyone diagnosed with diabetes should be given access to structured education programmes.  Yet it isn’t happening, as the figures below highlight:

People offered structured education:

  • Newly diagnosed:  2.2% Type 1, 12.0% Type 2
  • All people with diabetes: 1.6% Type 1, 4.5% Type 2

People having attended structured education:

  • Newly diagnosed – 0.6% Type 1, 3.1% Type 2
  • All people with diabetes – 1.0% Type 1, 1.4% Type 2

Even when education is provided it involves just 45 minutes to 2 hours on nutrition and lifestyle – yet that’s the one thing an individual can really do for themselves to make a massive difference to the likely outcomes of their diabetes.

So where’s the good news?

Well here it is:  RebalanceDiabetes provides a comprehensive nutritional and lifestyle education programme – typically 15 hours over 7 sessions – at a fraction of the lifetime cost of diabetes care. It’s simply the most effective nutrition and lifestyle education programme available for those living with diabetes, and is achieving fabulous results in terms of weight management, blood sugar balance, and other relevant health indicators such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels, as well as leaving participants looking and feeling great.   Click here NOW to book your brighter future!