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Old 10-20-2012, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,811,113 times
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Kind of a marginal topic for this forum, but I know diet, weight and "healthy eating" frequently is discussed here and the posters have strong opinions about these topics.

I have posted too in some of these discussions, and my opinion is that "healthy eating" and careful weight management are very over rated. I'm not advocating sitting around and eating chips and pizzas all the time nor do I advocate being very overweight, but on the other hand I think that a generally balanced diet including all types of food just found on the grocery store shelves is just fine for your general health. I also think body weight is overly concerned when it comes to health, being 20 or 25 pounds overweight to me isn't really a health issue at all.

Anyhow, the medical folks have been conducting a study concerning weight loss and Type II diabetes, and has surprisingly found that losing weight didn't reduce cardiovascular disease at all:


A large federal study of whether diet and weight loss can prevent heart attacks and strokes in overweight and obese people with Type 2 diabetes has ended two years ahead of schedule because the intensive program did not help.

“I was surprised,” said Rena Wing, the study’s chairwoman and a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University’s medical school.



http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/20/he...ics.html?_r=1&
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Thanks for the link to that very interesting New York Times article. I have read the article, and the findings are indeed surprising. However, before we conclude that diet, exercise, and weight loss are of no use, let's remember that this is one single study, the details of which have yet to be published. The Times article states that "...short-term studies had found that those [diet and exercise] strategies lowered blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels." It will be instructive to see what the experts in the field conclude after the actual data from the study have been published.

In addition, the study's authors reported that although measures of blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol were not significantly different between the two groups, "...the dieters used fewer medications" [to obtain their results]. To some of us, this is extremely significant. Being able to remain off insulin, for example, is a major contribution to the quality of daily life.
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
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Agreed ER, there may still be some benefits.

My overall sentiment has been, and continues to be, that a lot of the "health stuff" is exaggerated. I don't advocate being a listless slug with chocolate goo dripping down your jaw, but on the other hand I think that the benefits of many things that folks have assumed to be "healthy" are of marginal to no benefit.

Just wanted to add some insights from the article, which is why I always try to provide links.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewToCA View Post
Agreed ER, there may still be some benefits.

My overall sentiment has been, and continues to be, that a lot of the "health stuff" is exaggerated. I don't advocate being a listless slug with chocolate goo dripping down your jaw, but on the other hand I think that the benefits of many things that folks have assumed to be "healthy" are of marginal to no benefit.

Just wanted to add some insights from the article, which is why I always try to provide links.
You are not alone in your basic opinion, which I respect although I do not share it. For just a moment let's broaden the discussion away from just people who already have been diagnosed with type II diabetes. That still leaves a vast field of benefits of exercise, for which evidence exists. For starters there are people defined as "pre-diabetic", for whom regular exercise reduces the chance of progressing to the actual diagnosis. And then there is the population in general. There has to be a reason, based on epidemiological evidence, why three respected organizations (The American Heart Association, The U.S. Surgeon General's Office, and The American College of Sports Medicine) have united to issue a joint statement urging regular exercise on the general population and specifiying the amount of exercise recommended. These organizations didn't just sit down and meditate and come up with some theory; they are known as evidence-based organizations.

I do have a bias to disclose, that of my own personal experience. I admit that one single case proves nothing, but please bear with me. In my early 50's, I was told I was diabetic. For nearly 10 years I was able to "control" it with diet and exercise. Than at age 61 my doctor put me on Glipizide, an oral diabetes medication. This was quite a blow to me, as prescription medications are anathema to me personally. So I started exercising in a serious manner (as opposed to the previous casual manner) with attention to high intensities. After some six months or so I was able to taper off the meds and stop them altogether! And I was able to stay off them for several more years! Finally, once again, as my exercise became more "casual", my hemoglobin A1C numbers rose and the doctor put me back on Glipizide, which I have been taking for a couple of years or so now. I still have hopes of getting off of it once more, but the self-discipline for exercising as per my pervious successful experience has eluded me. I have been on a new kick for the last nine weeks, and we shall see. In the meantime I feel much better; that is, the more seriously I exercise, the better I feel. (I am now 68).

So my personal experience, while "proving" nothing, does go along (in a rough way) with the general feeling of the medical profession about the desirability of regular physical activity.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
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I can understand from your personal experience why you'd have your perspective here.

On the other side of the coin I saw my dad go through the same thing about 30 years ago, staying "pre diabetic" via regular exercise and a rigid eating routine. In addition he kept his weight pretty low.

Long story short, it worked for about 5 years but ultimately he ended up having to take medication. He subsequently went to a modest exercise routine, walking a mile or so every day and still paying attention to his eating but being much less rigid. The medication has worked very well, and in a few weeks (God willing) we will be heading down to Florida to be with him as he celebrates his 85th birthday.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
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I think it's best to wait until the study is published and subject to peer review before drawing any conclusions.

I don't recall if my client's 34 year old son was diagnosed with diabetes prior to his death from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease resulting from obesity. (Just reviewed his death certificate) Yep. I think if he were alive today he'd be surprised by the results of the study.

Edit: Oops. The study was comparing overweight/obese to a control group of overweight/obese. The risk factor of obesity related to cardiovascular disease is already built into the study. I guess my client's kid would not be surprised after all.

Last edited by lenora; 10-20-2012 at 06:00 PM..
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
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In my husband's case, exercise and a low fat diet have made a tremendous difference in his type 2 diabetes. He lifts weights 3 times a week, takes long bike rides up and down the steep hills of our area, takes 3 to 4 mile walks each day and yet his LDL levels were too high and his HDL levels were average. He was also about 25 lbs. overweight. He simply was eating too much animal fat and just too much food. He also has a carotid artery problem for the last 2 years - the blockage was worse this year. His overall cholesteral was 165 which most people be happy with but his LDL levels were much too high - this was due to diet and probably also the propensity of those with diabetics to have problems with cholesterol, heart disease, etc.

I made an appointment with a top cardiologist for my husband and I went with him. My husband's circulation was fine but the doctor was concerned enough with the worsening (but not critical) artery blockage that my husband has to see him every 6 months and have blood work and an MRI done each time. The cardiologist recommended that my husband "stop eating meat" and go vegan if at all possible.

At first I thought, there is no way that we can stop eating animal products but the longer I thought about it (which was about 2 days), the more I knew that my husband needed a radical change in diet - so we have been eating no animal products for almost 3 months now (I also add no added fat to anything we eat) - I saute vegetables in vegetable stock and we don't eat butter, oil, dressings - no added fat. But I am amazed at what delicious meals I can make without meat and without added fat.

My husband's total cholesterol is now 108 and his LDL and HDL levels are perfect. A side effect of all this is that the results of his bloodwork now show that he is "at risk for diabetes" rather than "diabetic". His blood sugar with medication is now around 85 to 90 which is about 30 to 35 points less than it was before the diet change. His doctor is taking my husband off one of his diabetic meds and believes that in time, he will no longer need diabetic meds (if he continues on with his current diet and exercise plan).

I am confident that the changes in my husband's diet have made a significant difference in my husband's overall health. He is now normal weight and has more energy than he has in many years - he feels great, his little pot belly is almost completely gone and he is continuing to slowly lose weight (about 2 lbs per week).

I do think diet and exercise are vital to good health as we age, especially when things like diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure/cholesterol are involved. I don't think that being 20 lbs overweight is a good thing and it is certainly not an attractive attribute for most of us.
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:48 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,548,911 times
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We should not get side tracked by this study.

Perhaps what we are learning is that there it is very difficult to get rid of diabetes once you have it with diet and exercise. People with diabetes want the hope with that magic bullet but once your body is broken, it is difficult to fix. However, it does not mean that diet and exercise, early on and through your life, is not important in the prevention of the onset of diabetes and perhaps mitigate the increased chances caused by inherited genes.

It is not often expressed but it is recognized that diabetes increased in the last 100 yrs. One factor is that we have learned to treat the disease; allowing people to survive long enough to procreate and pass on the genes, especially more of a problem with type 1. If they died early, their genes would not get passed to another generation. I have seen this issue often with people I have met with diabetes who are reluctant to have children.

Livecontent
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
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I cannot speak to the exercise factor (in terms of correlation), but I can definitely speak to the diet aspects. I was prediabetic with onset of associated neuropathy when I read Dr. Neal Barnard's book and it changed my life.
Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes without Drugs: Neal D. Barnard: 9781594868108: Amazon.com: Books

One of the foods I eat often is cream of buckwheat cereal (for its rutin)
Flavonoid Rutin May Help Obesity and Diabetes - Diabetes Health
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:02 PM
 
5,210 posts, read 9,130,792 times
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I'm a whipper snapper (not even 50 yet) and I have never been diagnosed as diabetic but at one point a nurse warned me that if I "didn't do something soon" I would be dealing with type II - my numbers had gotten that high. It really scared me, so I started exercising - 2 then 3 then 4 then 5 miles a day. And I cut back on carbs. That was probably 5 years ago, and my blood sugar levels are as normal as can be.

My feeling is that this can be controlled now and for a long while. But at some point, I will get diabetes. Our bodies simply break down in certain ways as we get older and there is a limit to what we can do about it. But being on a low dose of meds during my golden years is far preferable to being on a heavy dose - so my exercise today will definitely benefit me in the future.
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