Monday, 12 July 2010

Looking diabetic

People often say ‘you don’t look diabetic’. What do they expect? A tattoo on the forehead? An extra limb, horns and a tail? Well, of course they usually mean ‘you’re not fat, how can you be diabetic?’ The public are continuously being misled into believing that diabetes is somehow a lifestyle choice – that if only we’d looked after our health better and maybe not eaten so many pies and sugar, then we could have avoided it. Not so. Although there is clear evidence that obesity can precipitate diagnosis of diabetes, particularly Type 2, it is not always the case – there are many, many obese people in the world who do not develop diabetes, and around 20% of those diagnosed with Type 2 are not overweight at diagnosis. Indeed, there is the possibility that the extra weight may be gained because of diabetes, and not the other way round, since abnormal insulin production to try and overcome insulin resistance can cause weight gain.

So how are the public to recognise diabetics if they are slim, active and otherwise healthy? A new government initiative reveals how…

It’s confirmed – you’re diabetic, so please join the queue,
The surgeon should be on his way,
It shouldn’t take long, there’s only a few…
What’s that? Do you have something to say?

Oh, didn’t they tell you? It’s really no good!
We must make you stand out in the street!
Some try to disguise it by wearing a hood,
But you can still pick them out by their feet!

Here is the leaflet, I’m sure it’ll explain,
And there’s a picture of what they attach.
It’s free for the ‘standard’, but if you are vain,
You can pay extra for attachments that match!

A moment if you please, you must sign this release
To donate them back when you’re dead…
Now hurry along, you’re next on the list,
Would you like to have green ones or red?

Oh dear! Does it hurt? That’ll soon go away,
And you’ll learn how to sleep on your back.
You’ll be able to walk, but not quite the same way –
I’m sure that you’ll pick up the knack!

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