This Is NOT Helpful…

They put a bunch of data from other studies into a one big pool and came up with…a statistic. That’s it. …

Source: Flickr - couragextoxlive

Diabetes Can Shorten Life by 6 Years, the headline screamed.

“A 50-year-old with diabetes dies six years sooner than someone without the disease…”

Oh my! I know a 50-year-old who happens to live with diabetes. What can be done to help her avoid this awful fate?

Turns out they don’t know. The researchers don’t know why people with diabetes tend to die earlier.

“The analysis used pooled medical information for 820,900 people from nearly 100 studies done mostly in Europe and North America.”

They put a bunch of data from other studies into a one big pool and came up with…a statistic. That’s it. No attempt at analyzing how well or poorly these people managed their health. No attempt to try to determine the link between diabetes and an early death. All they did was some simple math.

“Exactly how diabetes raises those risks isn’t clear…”

Okay. This is not helpful.

The article doesn’t really say anything new about health complications associated with diabetes. Just read any of the of the hundreds of books or medical websites about diabetes and they will all say that people with diabetes are at risk for many other health issues—some of them fatal.

We don’t need the bogeyman of death to tell us how serious diabetes is. What we need is practical, effective advice on how to manage the disease well.

 

One thought on “This Is NOT Helpful…”

  1. Hi Corinna,

    I completely agree. This sort of meta-analysis doesn’t help motivate anyone to change her behavior. It could even have the opposite effect–that is, making a person give up hope of controlling Type 2 diabetes.

    For most people, it’s not so clear how to interpret such a study. As you say, “They put a bunch of data from other studies into a one big pool and came up with…a statistic. That’s it. No attempt at analyzing how well or poorly these people managed their health.”

    So, what is helpful? What you’re doing–sharing resources about type 2 diabetes and your own experience of what works–is helpful. And part of that is sharing your positive attitude: that a person can manage the disease and live well, that food can be tasty and good for you at the same time.

    As someone who also has Type 2 diabetes and manages it well, I really appreciate your blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.