Type 2 diabetes and the blame game

There are a number of discussions we probably all see going on about how people with type 2 diabetes have made themselves fat and brought it upon themselves.

  • “They chose to eat this way, it’s their fault they got diabetes.”
  • “People overeating are eating away at our tax money.”
  • …and such like.

We know that the effects of type 2 diabetes mean that, unless aggressively countered, a vicious cycle is entered into and it takes at least a long and concerted effort to break out of it.

I find it a little hard to believe that people are totally willingly eating their way into poor health. There may be people who are eating things and knowing it’s likely not good for them but it may be worth asking whether it’s such a free choice they made to start with?

UK’s poor nutrition
Nutrition in Britain is generally poor. Cheap food is full of refined carbs, flavourings and emulsifiers to conserve shelf life, taste and appearance. These all turn out to be great in terms of profits for food producers (and distributers) but not so good for us.

So who is to blame for the rise in type 2 diabetes?

If someone is told why they’re making themselves ill and they keep doing it, then there may be some sense in apportioning blame –however, it seems not even the nutrition experts have a complete handle on why people are developing metabolic syndrome (type 2 diabetes).

Fruitless
Personally I find blaming people with type 2 diabetes to be fruitless. I don’t think it’s their fault. Most of us have grown up under conditions where the choice of what we eat has been steadily taken further away from us and put into the hands of food producers and distributors.

Rather than place blame on individuals, I would much prefer to see the root issues tackled:

  • Let many more people know what a proper balanced diet should consist of
  • Cut down on the harmful artificial additives in foods
  • Support a move towards fresher, better quality foods

NICE (The National Institute for Clinical Excellence) has itself just laid out guidelines, for the prevention of type 2 diabetes, that supports good quality and affordable fruit and vegetables to be available in people’s locality.

Should people be blamed?
What do you think though?

Are we being soft by not blaming people? Do they need a kick up the behind to help them take notice of what’s happening?

Or, is blame the last thing that’s needed? Isn’t type 2 diabetes enough of a kick in the rear to start with?

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About the author

Benedict Jephcote

I have been researching and writing about diabetes for the best part of a decade. I have a passion for helping people with diabetes and championing their rights. Outside of diabetes, I have a love of music and seventeenth and eighteenth century history.

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