The Bottom Line
By Francine R. Kaufman, M.D.; 326 pages. Subtitle: The Obesity-Diabetes Epidemic That Threatens America -- And What We Must Do to Stop It
Kaufman doesn't mince words in exhorting readers to put down the doughnuts, throw out the sweetened soda, hand back that Big Mac, get up and exercise, or tomorrow you and your children will be dealing with diabetes and all its complications. This isn't a book to browse through while enjoying your midnight snack.
- Does a good job of explaining why obesity is a problem
- Alerts parents to a health crisis they can do much to combat
- Looks at trends in diabesity all around the world
- Pinpoints problem areas of our contemporary lifestyles
- Explains how eating better and exercising more will in many cases prevent future problems
- Eating better and exercising more is legitimately difficult for many, as the author admits
- Righteous indignation can be grating if you disagree on some points
- May be harder to take seriously if your child isn't presently obese
- The recommended changes may seem obvious to some
- Longer than it really needs to be
- Part 1: The Devil Is Diabetes
Chapter 1: A Tale of Two Children
- Chapter 2: Diabetes Descends on My Grandma Sadie
Chapter 3: The March to Type 2 Diabetes
- Chapter 4: The Blood Sugar Balancing Act
Chapter 5: A Life-Altering Diagnosis
- Chapter 6: Running on Empty
Chapter 7: The Long Haul
- Part 2: The Evolution of Our Destruction
Chapter 8: Designed for Feast or Famine
- Chapter 9: The Land of Plenty
Chapter 10: Diabesity Around the World
- Part 3: Engines of Change
Chapter 11: The New Normal
- Chapter 12: Who's Responsible?
Chapter 13: Reading, Writing, and Diabesity
- Chapter 14: Nine to Five
Chapter 15: The Healthcare Challenge
- Epilogue: A Choice of Futures
Guide Review - Book Review: Diabesity
It used to be that you could call Type 1 diabetes "juvenile diabetes" and Type 2 "adult-onset," but those distinctions are getting blurred. The kind of adult weight gain that often triggers Type 2 is now being seen in children and teens, and obesity among the younger set is causing Type 2 to become a major factor for that age group, too. If we continue to eat what's sweetest and easiest, in large quantities and as part of a sedentary lifestyle, Kaufman suggests that by the year 2020 there will be 300 million people worldwide with diabetes, a 72 percent increase from the already growing number who have the disease now.
That's a sobering prognosis, particularly for parents whose bad choices today may turn into a lifetime of blood testing, insulin injecting, and escalating health problems for their children. Kaufman, a past president of the American Diabetes Association, gives a good overview of how diabetes works; offers case studies of kids for whom obesity has spelled disaster; and explains why weight loss is so hard for some. She also takes aim at the things that make correcting the diabesity problem so difficult, especially soda machines in schools, fast food restaurants, HMOs, and lack of opportunities for exercise.
Whether or not you buy all the alarmism, this book will be a good call to take a hard look at your child's weight, diet and lifestyle. Just as parents' bad choices can have a negative influence, our good ones can make a big difference, too.