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Disease burden is growing across the world - what can we do?

Cycling and walking should be priorities for governments across the world, if they are to tackle the enormously expensive disease Type 2 Diabetes, according to a report by the WHO.

Already costing £1 in ever £10 spent by the NHS in England, diabetes is a disease that is largely preventable through diet and exercise, but which is crippling health services.

The World Health Organisation Global Report on Diabetes says:  “Urban planning and active transport policies can ensure that walking, cycling and other forms of non-motorized transport are accessible and safe for all.

“Diabetes and its complications bring about substantial economic loss to people with diabetes and their families, and to health systems and national economies through direct medical costs and loss of work and wages,” warns the report. Mass motoring is killing people, and in many more ways than one.

Diabetes now affects nearly one in 11 adults across the globe; cases had nearly quadrupled to 422 million in 2014 from 108 million in 1980.

Calling for “supportive built and social environments for physical activity,” the organisation warns: “No single policy or intervention can ensure this happens. It calls for a whole-of-government and whole-of- society approach, in which all sectors systematically consider the health impact of policies in trade, agriculture, finance, transport, education and urban planning – recognizing that health is enhanced or obstructed as a result of policies in these and other areas.

It’s not the first time the WHO has made a similar call to action, but it’s questionable how much effect these reports have.

In fact, we have recently reported the WHO’s claims that Britain’s level of inactivity is affecting the economy, that cycling could solve air pollution, and on infrastructure changes that could save cyclist lives worldwide.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

21 comments

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unconstituted [2351 posts] 4 months ago
5 likes

Maybe we could... stop putting sugar into absolutely every single thing sold on the planet.

Even cycling now is a sugar fest. Going for ride for a lot of guys is about heading to the coffee shop and getting cake, then having a nice little ride home. 

Face it, most cyclists are carrying extra weight (me too right now, about 6 or 7 kilos over what I should really be), and that's because of diet. They say you can't outrun a bad diet and bar some extremes, I think that's true. Sticking people on bikes isn't going to solve diabetes. They'd just eat more.

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beezus fufoon [669 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

they won't get fooled again!

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burtthebike [884 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
unconstituted wrote:

Maybe we could... stop putting sugar into absolutely every single thing sold on the planet.

Even cycling now is a sugar fest. Going for ride for a lot of guys is about heading to the coffee shop and getting cake, then having a nice little ride home. 

Face it, most cyclists are carrying extra weight (me too right now, about 6 or 7 kilos over what I should really be), and that's because of diet. They say you can't outrun a bad diet and bar some extremes, I think that's true. Sticking people on bikes isn't going to solve diabetes. They'd just eat more.

Actually, calorific intake has fallen over the past fifty years, and the main difference between then and now is the current sedentary lifestyle.  

Cycling to the cafe once week isn't going to change much, what we need is much more Active Travel, with people walking and cycling every day.  It does work, with Holland famously having a much smaller obesity problem than the rest of Europe, and it isn't because they eat fewer cakes

http://www.dw.com/en/obese-not-us-why-the-netherlands-is-becoming-the-sk...

Of course, that would mean the government actually investing in Active Travel, but as anyone who has seen their Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will know, they aren't investing at all, being still stuck in the 1960's utterly failed solution of building more roads.

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unconstituted [2351 posts] 4 months ago
4 likes
burtthebike wrote:
unconstituted wrote:

Maybe we could... stop putting sugar into absolutely every single thing sold on the planet.

Even cycling now is a sugar fest. Going for ride for a lot of guys is about heading to the coffee shop and getting cake, then having a nice little ride home. 

Face it, most cyclists are carrying extra weight (me too right now, about 6 or 7 kilos over what I should really be), and that's because of diet. They say you can't outrun a bad diet and bar some extremes, I think that's true. Sticking people on bikes isn't going to solve diabetes. They'd just eat more.

Actually, calorific intake has fallen over the past fifty years, and the main difference between then and now is the current sedentary lifestyle.  

Cycling to the cafe once week isn't going to change much, what we need is much more Active Travel, with people walking and cycling every day.  It does work, with Holland famously having a much smaller obesity problem than the rest of Europe, and it isn't because they eat fewer cakes

http://www.dw.com/en/obese-not-us-why-the-netherlands-is-becoming-the-sk...

Of course, that would mean the government actually investing in Active Travel, but as anyone who has seen their Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will know, they aren't investing at all, being still stuck in the 1960's utterly failed solution of building more roads.

 

I didn't mention calories. Sugar intake is important because of insulin resistance, the type of fat cells they convert to, where they're stored, the mental addiction, etc. 

This lack of education on diet is why the conversation gets dumbed down to calories in/calories out and most guys are riding around with dangerous visceral fat. The article is about diabetes, not calories. 

 

 

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Jackson [375 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

It's true that there are loads of fat cyclists, but at least on a bike they're not also affecting my health and ruining the planet while they're at it.

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ClubSmed [328 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

I have to agree with dinosaurJR as I too believe that it's cycling mentality that will effect the needed shift in perception. Just look at what was achieved by "Fixing Dad" in regards to diabetes by using cycling and diet

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hawkinspeter [723 posts] 4 months ago
6 likes

I find cycling is the easiest way to incorporate regular, frequent exercise into daily life. Time that would otherwise be "wasted" by commuting is now turned into a healthy activity. I'm convinced that it's the regularity that provides the biggest benefit as opposed to weekend only riding. That way your muscles are keen to re-fill with fuel all the time, so those extra cakes/calories are used as muscle fuel rather than fat storage.

However, in terms of losing weight, reducing portion sizes is far more effective than trying to burn 1000s of calories. Eat less for weight control and exercise more for health benefits.

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mtbtomo [230 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Whilst it doesn't come about through bad diet, having a son with type 1 diabetes, you get to see the massive spikes in blood sugar that eating processed sugar causes.

So whilst i'm a firm believer in "everything in moderation", you can understand how spiking your blood sugar levels by eating processed sugar repeatedly could be damaging, whether you're using the energy/calories or not.

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burtthebike [884 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
unconstituted wrote:

I didn't mention calories. Sugar intake is important because of insulin resistance, the type of fat cells they convert to, where they're stored, the mental addiction, etc. 

This lack of education on diet is why the conversation gets dumbed down to calories in/calories out and most guys are riding around with dangerous visceral fat. The article is about diabetes, not calories.

[/quote]

So how come obesity and diabetes are lower in Holland when they eat pretty much the same diet?

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Leviathan [2600 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

Be wary of post Brexit deregulation of the food market. We want sugar in our products, not high fructose corn syrup. The Creme Egg might be the thin end of the wedge. Some companies are planning to reformulate products next year, ostensibly to reduce sugar, but who knows what could come in the back door.

We have to eat, and in cycling often high calorie snacks, but I would rather have an old style Mars Bar where I can see and taste the calories and know what is in it than whatever they are going to concoct in the future.

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Yorkshire wallet [1170 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Leviathan wrote:

Be wary of post Brexit deregulation of the food market. We want sugar in our products, not high fructose corn syrup. The Creme Egg might be the thin end of the wedge. Some companies are planning to reformulate products next year, ostensibly to reduce sugar, but who knows what could come in the back door.

We have to eat, and in cycling often high calorie snacks, but I would rather have an old style Mars Bar where I can see and taste the calories and know what is in it than whatever they are going to concoct in the future.

The problem is people are still increasingly fat despite whatever they are told or how the food is marked up. Look at cigs - put YOU WILL FUCKING DIE OF CANCER on them and they'd still sell. Same with food. People don't really give a shit, they just want someone to blame when they get fat. 

If I was that bothered about what went into high calorie bike snacks I'd probably end up learning how to make my own flapjacks etc. 

I just don't get how people don't notice how fat they are getting. I'm mirror checking everyday  but them again I'm a bit OCD about weight having had a rough time as a fat teenager many years ago. Never getting like that again.

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Swiss [62 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Be wary of post Brexit deregulation of the food market. We want sugar in our products, not high fructose corn syrup. The Creme Egg might be the thin end of the wedge. Some companies are planning to reformulate products next year, ostensibly to reduce sugar, but who knows what could come in the back door.

Good point well made. Corn syrup is terrible stuff but companies just chuck the shit in as its cheap.

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [522 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
unconstituted wrote:
burtthebike wrote:
unconstituted wrote:

Maybe we could... stop putting sugar into absolutely every single thing sold on the planet.

Even cycling now is a sugar fest. Going for ride for a lot of guys is about heading to the coffee shop and getting cake, then having a nice little ride home. 

Face it, most cyclists are carrying extra weight (me too right now, about 6 or 7 kilos over what I should really be), and that's because of diet. They say you can't outrun a bad diet and bar some extremes, I think that's true. Sticking people on bikes isn't going to solve diabetes. They'd just eat more.

Actually, calorific intake has fallen over the past fifty years, and the main difference between then and now is the current sedentary lifestyle.  

Cycling to the cafe once week isn't going to change much, what we need is much more Active Travel, with people walking and cycling every day.  It does work, with Holland famously having a much smaller obesity problem than the rest of Europe, and it isn't because they eat fewer cakes

http://www.dw.com/en/obese-not-us-why-the-netherlands-is-becoming-the-sk...

Of course, that would mean the government actually investing in Active Travel, but as anyone who has seen their Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will know, they aren't investing at all, being still stuck in the 1960's utterly failed solution of building more roads.

 

I didn't mention calories. Sugar intake is important because of insulin resistance, the type of fat cells they convert to, where they're stored, the mental addiction, etc. 

This lack of education on diet is why the conversation gets dumbed down to calories in/calories out and most guys are riding around with dangerous visceral fat. The article is about diabetes, not calories. 

You both have vaild points in respect of sugar & calories.

I've been Type 1 for 33 years and, whilst the side effects of sugar are obvious to somebody who can't produce any insulin, a calorie heavy meal also has a negative effect on the blood sugar levels.  If you eat a high calorie diet as a diabetic, you'll need to inject more & more insulin which, if you're not regulary active, will also assist in you piling on the weight.

Admittedly, my diet is far from perfect, but I notice that glucose control becomes a lot better if I go out a few times in the week as opposed to just on the Saturday club ride.  The Active Travel thing noted above would be of benefit to a high number of folk, I feel.

Avatar
ktache [545 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

 

If I was that bothered about what went into high calorie bike snacks I'd probably end up learning how to make my own flapjacks etc. 

Mate, make your own flapjacks.  I'm currently making a tray a week.  The Green and Blacks recipe, adjusted to fit a 20x20 tin, with 30g of mixed seeds replacing 30g of oats.  Uses honey rather than golden syrup and is delicous.  Even oven dried banana for them.

I enjoy a slab with a cup of tea from my Elite coca-cola vacuum flask while on the train part of my commute.  The Elite flask is fantastic by the way, a bit bigger than most bike bottles so is getting scratched to hell in my Leyzne alloy cage, and can actually keep things a bit too hot.

Avatar
davel [1334 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
Swiss][quote=Leviathan wrote:

Be wary of post Brexit deregulation of the food market. We want sugar in our products, not high fructose corn syrup. The Creme Egg might be the thin end of the wedge. Some companies are planning to reformulate products next year, ostensibly to reduce sugar, but who knows what could come in the back door.

Good point well made. Corn syrup is terrible stuff but companies just chuck the shit in as its cheap.

It's a hideous by-product of agribusiness: zero reason for it existing other than it's an additional revenue stream.

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Billy1mate [25 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

Friend of mine took up cycling after being diagnosed type 2 diabetic and since starting cycling his blood tests are the same as someone without diabetes and his medication has halved, pity he didn't start cycling earlier. I disagree with the coffee and cake culture associated with cycling as contributing to the problem.

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Resarf [9 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

Sugar isn't the enemy. Food is food. It's not a treat it's just energy. Nobody mentioning insulin independent glucose uptake? I am type 1, a decent ride works better than insulin. Type one and two are very different. Like comparing a full on time trial bike to a bmx

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unconstituted [2351 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

Yeah, 'food is food'.

Science lesson over boys 

Avatar
unconstituted [2351 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
Billy1mate wrote:

I disagree with the coffee and cake culture associated with cycling as contributing to the problem.

 

Not contributing, indicitive.

 

Was the point, clearly.

 

 

Avatar
ClubSmed [328 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
unconstituted wrote:

Maybe we could... stop putting sugar into absolutely every single thing sold on the planet.

Even cycling now is a sugar fest. Going for ride for a lot of guys is about heading to the coffee shop and getting cake, then having a nice little ride home. 

Face it, most cyclists are carrying extra weight (me too right now, about 6 or 7 kilos over what I should really be), and that's because of diet. They say you can't outrun a bad diet and bar some extremes, I think that's true. Sticking people on bikes isn't going to solve diabetes. They'd just eat more.

WHO never said that cycling alone would fix it! In fact the article says "No single policy or intervention can ensure this happens. It [WHO] calls for a whole-of-government and whole-of- society approach, in which all sectors systematically consider the health impact of policies in trade, agriculture, finance, transport, education and urban planning – recognizing that health is enhanced or obstructed as a result of policies in these and other areas."
Did you just only read the headline and comment? This is a cycling site, of course the headline is going to focus on the cycling aspect, if you read further though you'll see that's not all of the story.

Avatar
unconstituted [2351 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
ClubSmed wrote:
unconstituted wrote:

Maybe we could... stop putting sugar into absolutely every single thing sold on the planet.

Even cycling now is a sugar fest. Going for ride for a lot of guys is about heading to the coffee shop and getting cake, then having a nice little ride home. 

Face it, most cyclists are carrying extra weight (me too right now, about 6 or 7 kilos over what I should really be), and that's because of diet. They say you can't outrun a bad diet and bar some extremes, I think that's true. Sticking people on bikes isn't going to solve diabetes. They'd just eat more.

WHO never said that cycling alone would fix it! In fact the article says "No single policy or intervention can ensure this happens. It [WHO] calls for a whole-of-government and whole-of- society approach, in which all sectors systematically consider the health impact of policies in trade, agriculture, finance, transport, education and urban planning – recognizing that health is enhanced or obstructed as a result of policies in these and other areas." Did you just only read the headline and comment? This is a cycling site, of course the headline is going to focus on the cycling aspect, if you read further though you'll see that's not all of the story.

 

WHO and I agree. What's the problem.