Sue Marshall blogs about diabetes for Desang

UK Obesity barometer launched — we’re getting fatter

February 7, 2011
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The UK Obesity Barometer shows that around 1.2 million people in the UK moved into the ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’ category over the festive season* pushing levels to a new high. The LighterLife UK Obesity Barometer shows that although overweight or obese averages decreased in some regions, overall, the nation has piled on the pounds over the last few weeks.

Whilst over one third of people questioned before the holidays in the UK were worried about putting on a few pounds over the festive season, the LighterLife UK Obesity Barometer shows that, in reality, over a million people have piled on enough weight to slip into the overweight or obese categories (Overweight Body Mass Index (BMI) = 25–29.9, Obese BMI = 30+).

The LighterLife UK Obesity Barometer has been developed with the National Obesity Forum to track the changing rates of obesity by region across the UK throughout 2011.

Dr David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum, said: “We all know obesity rates are rising so we are pleased to support the LighterLife UK Obesity Barometer as a way of tracking obesity levels and raising awareness in the UK.  People often put on weight at Christmas time, however it will be interesting to see how many can shift the excess pounds in the next few weeks and months. For those who have a BMI of 25 or more, they are at increased risk of health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, so it’s important that the weight gained is lost. The barometer will prove invaluable to track the weight of the nation at both a regional and national level.”

The barometer will highlight weight across the regions in the UK and people will be able to see how this fluctuates over this coming year.  Tips and advice for those worried about their weight are also provided with links to helpful advice on the LighterLife website.


JDRF — going blue for World Diabetes Day on 14 November

October 11, 2010
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They’re doing it, I’m going to do it, are you? Going Blue! Whatever you do, don’t feel blue about diabetes, get blue to show your support for World Diabetes Day. Fundraise, raise awareness or just spread the word. You can find out what JDRF is doing, and they’ll help you with a free pack.

Active Fat

September 24, 2010
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This is a great website that explains how belly fat is bad for you — fat has a life! These cartoons explain the perils clearly and in about as fun a way as it’s possible to do. Nor is it lecturing or hectoring. Well done to the 3 organisations involved, including Diabetes UK.

Diabete-ezy tips from Oz

August 19, 2010
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Another website run by people who live with diabetes who have got up and done something about it. This family has 3 kids and one parent with Type 1. they have their own version of a kitbag, pump belt and record book and some test wipes so you have super clean skin before you test to avoid dodgy readings.

Diabetes with humour

August 17, 2010

Loved coming across these cartoons from Haidee Merritt at

Diabetes is Tough – Dr. Jen’s Diabetes Diary

July 16, 2010
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Diabetes is Tough – Dr. Jen’s Diabetes Diary. Boy does Dr Jen know what she’s talking about. Very well put about the sheer weight of a diagnosis of diabetes as a life=long sentence. Good for her to acknowledge that.

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Exercises That Protect Against Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

July 13, 2010
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Very simple to do, and if you are sat at a PC all day, then probably vital to do. People with diabetes are more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome — I’ve certainly had it and have the scars to prove it. Still think these are worth doing though.

Exercises That Protect Against Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

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dLife Diabetes Companion — new iPhone app

May 13, 2010
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dLife Diabetes Companion offers access to the same award-winning features of and dLifeTV including recipes, videos, expert questions & answers plus the ability to log and track blood glucose levels and get a 360-degree view of diabetes management.

dLife Diabetes Companion allows users to:

Manage – Log and track blood glucose levels with color-coded results to help identify high and low ranges over time.
Eat – Find over 9,000 healthy and flavorful recipes and 25,000 foods with full nutritional analysis for a healthy diabetes diet.
Solve – Find expert and community answers to over 4,000 diabetes questions.
Watch – View over 400 dLifeTV videos – with health experts, cooking demos, plus Real People Real Stories.

Intestinal Bacteria May Contribute to Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

April 27, 2010
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Intestinal bacteria helps increase appetite? Its just put me off my lunch…!

According to researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine, obesity and metabolic syndrome may be partially brought on by intestinal bacteria that increase appetite and insulin resistance. The two can lead to overeating and high blood sugar levels – both important factors in the eventual onset of type 2 diabetes. Perhaps even more interesting, the scientists found that the bacteria can be transferred from one mouse to another, creating increased appetite and insulin resistance in an animal that had previously experienced neither.

As a result, the researchers believe that excessive consumption of calories may be more than simply a matter of undisciplined eating. If scientists can duplicate the results with human test subjects, they might find additional ways to treat or forestall obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Both animals and people acquire intestinal bacteria from their family members soon after birth. If bacteria that can predispose individuals to overeating and eventual insulin resistance are so easily transferred, it means that the environment, not just genetics, can lead to those outcomes.

The Emory researchers think, however, that there may be a genetic component to the altered bacteria. They are now looking into a gene called toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5), which plays a role in controlling intestinal bacteria, to see if a deficiency in TLR5 in humans and mice is a key to increased appetite.

The Emory findings were published online in the March 4 issue of Science.

via: Intestinal Bacteria May Contribute to Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Consensus Moving to A1c as a Better Predictor of Diabetes Than Fasting Glucose

April 26, 2010
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Glucose fasting to test for diabetes could soon become a thing of the past…

Over the past few months, there has been a discernible shift of opinion among healthcare providers about which test best reveals a high risk of acquiring diabetes. The old standby, fasting glucose, seems to be giving way to the hemoglobin A1c (HBA1c) test as the preferred method.

A just-published study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health contends not only that the A1c better identifies persons at risk for diabetes than fasting glucose, but also that it can better predict stroke, heart disease, and overall mortality.

To prepare for a fasting glucose test, the patient must fast first, usually from midnight until the time a blood sample is drawn the next day. The level of blood glucose in the sample gives a good indication of whether the patient is non-diabetic, is at risk for diabetes, or has the disease. An A1c, on the other hand, indicates blood glucose levels over an extended period, usually 90 days, and does not require patients to fast.

Among the advantages of an A1c over the fasting glucose test, said the study’s lead author, Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH, is its low variability and reduced susceptibility to variance based upon illness or stress. For that reason, it is much less likely to produce a “false alarm” that could lead to a misdiagnosis.

Another advantage is that A1c levels are rendered in percentages that are easy to understand. The Johns Hopkins study identified an A1c of 5.0% to 5.5% as within the normal range. As the A1c percentage increases, so does the risk of acquiring diabetes. A1c’s of 5.5% to 6% are considered “very high risk,” indicating a nine-times greater likelihood of getting diabetes than an A1c within the normal range.

A patient with an A1c of 6.5% or greater, according to the researchers, should be considered to have diabetes. (The American Diabetes Association guidelines say that anyone with an A1c from 5.7% to 6.4% is “at very high risk” of acquiring diabetes within five years, while a range of 5.5% to 6% indicates a need to take preventive measures.)

The study relied on blood samples taken in the early 1990s from 11,000 black and white adults who did not have diabetes. By measuring the A1c’s in those samples and then tracking which participants eventually developed diabetes, the researchers were able to establish some pretty solid indicators of diabetes risk.

The Johns Hopkins data are one more push in the direction of establishing the A1c as the preferred test for diabetes risk. Look for doctors and HMOs to begin offering it as a standard component in routine annual check-ups.

The study appears in the March 4, 2010, issue of New England Journal of Medicine.

via: Consensus Moving to A1c as a Better Predictor of Diabetes Than Fasting Glucose

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