Sunday, November 20, 2011

Type 2 diabetes: it's all in the mind.

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) - “In Chinese medicine 2,000 years ago, people knew urine could be sweet and people would be thirsty -- they knew the signs of diabetes,” Xing said. “But it wasn’t common.”
The same pace of social change and urban prosperity that has fueled China’s economy in the past decade has fanned the spread of Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, as people ate fattier foods and led more sedentary lifestyles.

Type 2 diabetes linked to obesity affected almost 1 in 10 Chinese adults in 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine said in a study published last year. That would be a higher rate than in the U.S., where the National Institutes of Health estimates 8.3 percent of the population had diabetes in 2010. Another 148 million Chinese are on their way toward developing the disease.

Clearly, type 2 diabetes is an urban environment disease. Just like swamps facilitate malaria and close proximity to livestock produces flu strains, cities create hundreds of millions of diabetics. Our commitment to certain types of mass manufactured foods is incompatible with the lifestyle. Ever since I did the diabetes 2 project with Roche, I've been amazed of how simple the cure for this disease is and how hard it is to make it work on a large scale. Mind seems to be the most difficult organ to inoculate against wrong commitments.

tags: health, care, problem, solution, scale, infrastructure, mind

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