Why Is Type 1 Diabetes Rising Worldwide?

We’ve gotten sadly accustomed by now to warnings about obesity and its effect on health: joint damage, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and its complications such as blindness and amputation. We almost take for granted that as obesity increases worldwide, diabetes will also, and it is. That is, type 2 diabetes — the kind that is linked to obesity and used to be called adult-onset diabetes — is rising as obesity does.

But here’s a puzzle: Type 1 diabetes — the autoimmune disease that begins in childhood and used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes — is rising too, around the globe, at 3 percent to 5 percent per year. And at this point, no one can quite say why.

I have a column in the February Scientific American, on newsstands now and live on the web, exploring this conundrum. There is a raft of researchers exploring the issue, but so far there is only one thing they can say for sure: The increase, which began in the 1950s and accelerated in about the 1980s, is happening too fast to be due solely to genetic change. Something in the environment is driving the increase. But what?

The challenge for explaining the rising trend in type 1 diabetes is that if the increases are occurring worldwide, the causes must also be. So investigators have had to look for influences that stretch globally and consider the possibility that different factors may be more important in some regions than in others.

The list of possible culprits is long. Researchers have, for example, suggested that gluten, the protein in wheat, may play a role because type 1 patients seem to be at higher risk for celiac disease and the amount of gluten most people consume (in highly processed foods) has grown over the decades. Scientists have also inquired into how soon infants are fed root vegetables. Stored tubers can be contaminated with microscopic fungi that seem to promote the development of diabetes in mice.

None of those lines of research, though, have returned results that are solid enough to motivate other scientists to stake their careers on studying them. So far, in fact, the search for a culprit resembles the next-to-last scene in an Agatha Christie mystery — the one in which the detective explains which of the many suspects could not possibly have committed the crime.

One of the best-elaborated hypotheses suggests that lack of exposure to infections in childhood keeps the various components of the immune system from learning how to hold themselves in balance. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a version of the “hygiene hypothesis” (past posts here, here and here), which says that a too-clean childhood can lead to allergies later in life.

The diabetes version of this hypothesis explores whether conditions that are a proxy for exposure to infections — not having older siblings in the house, not attending day care, being born by Caesarean — can have an effect on the occurrence of diabetes. No clear culprit has been found yet.

Some researchers say it is possible that obesity may play a role. In type 2 diabetes, tissues in the body that receive the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar, become insensitive to it. In type 1, the body destroys the insulin-producing cells. But an “overload” hypothesis is now suggesting that if a child is obese to begin with, that could prime the insulin-producing cells for failure, with the autoimmune attack pushing them over the edge.

If obesity is an explanation, it’s not a comforting one. As the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics noted today, a whopping percentage of United States adults — 36 percent — are obese. And the trend is not reversing. By 2048, according to Johns Hopkins researchers whose work is discussed in my story, every adult in America will be at least overweight if the current trend continues.

That’s a lot of potential diabetes cases: a lot of glucose monitors, syringe jabs and inevitable blood sugar swings, if you care for it well, and a lot of kidney disease, heart disease, amputations and blindness if you don’t. (Not to mention effects like this image of insulin lipohypertrophy published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week, from years of administering insulin injections.) Let’s hope we find, if not a cure, at least a cause for rising type 1, before the trend gets out of control.

Reference click here.

Is the Government helping us or making us sick?

I will let you decide but you can guess what my answer is.

It is an injustice that people are to rely on the government for dietary guidance when there are such politics behind the scenes.  We as consumers are persuaded what to eat by commercials on TV, ads in newspapers, online, billboards driving to work and of course by cost. The government has a business to run and therefore chooses what foods to subsidized. Even worse these foods were foreign to the diets of our ancestors and now food allergies are showing up EVERYWHERE. I wonder why? Perhaps our food supply is saturated with the wrong foods and preservative.

I am very passionate about this topic because the governmental funded foods make me ill. Very ill and they sneak into everything. For example, I bought some roasted pumpkin seeds yesterday and after enjoying some I went to read what the oil was to keep the salt on the seeds. What?? Wheat! And then I got sick.

Have a read of this article I found about government funded food in the Atlantic. Every food mentioned is an allergenic food, causing inflammation. Inflammation is not a good thing. If you were to look into what inflammation does to our bodies you will find it leads to disease: diabetes, obesity, arthritis, cancer, thyroid dysfunction, kidney disease and more.

I hope this helps you understand that we cannot be sold by price but we need to consume foods that nourish us. A good book that can help paint a picture of what those such foods look like is called, “Primal Body, Primal Mind.”

The 9 Foods the U.S. Government Is Paying You to Eat

In 2009, the federal government spent $12.3 billion in payments to America’s farmers. The number was cause for celebration, and not only among the tractor and overall industries. $12.3 billion was nearly the lowest payment in the past decade, as high food prices surpassed the threshold for subsidies.

By and large, most subsidies function as a form of so-called “farm income stabilization.” The Department of Agriculture sets a price floor for a given crop. If market prices rise above that level, farms sell on the open market. If prices fall below, the government reimburses farmers the difference between the market and the floor price for every unit grown — or not.

Even as farmers profit from increased demand, the government remains a major player in the food business. While assessments of the subsidies’ quality varies — with many commentators labeling them indigestible — attempts to cut have thus far been unsuccessful.

So what is the Department of Agriculture putting on your plate? We present the top nine products that the government most heavily subsidizes.


You can find soy in almost everything. Most obvious places include vegan foods, soy sauce, and more. But would you ever think it would be in salad dressings and marinades? Rightfully so. It’s cheap! But if you were to look at the fatty acid content of soybean oil, the omega 6 fatty acid ratio is high. And that is not normal nor natural. High = bad = inflammation. Better oil options include olive oil and coconut oil. For salads I was hopeless finding something in the grocery that did not include soybean oil or sunflower oil as the main ingredient so I now use lemons and olive oil, salsa, or white wine vinegar and some herbs to flavor my vegetables.


Corn, corn flakes, tortillas, chips……sugar. Sugar and more sugar. High Fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the sweetener and preservative in most junk foods.  The average US person consumes 59.2 pounds of HFCS per year and that is easy to believe when HFCS is one of the most common preservatives in fast food restaurants. Be weary of this stuff. It is not good and I would avoid it just as much as gluten.


Beer. I cannot go too far on my thoughts of beer other than grains are becoming cheaper as is beer. If you were to compare the composition of beer today to beef back when; the composition is different.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter. How much I used to love you. Have you ever heard that typical allergen foods are ones people most often crave? PeanutbutterandKelly has removed peanut butter from her diet. Not initially by choice but by force. Peanut butter (likely has sugar or HFCS) in it but it also have lectins and is a high pesticide food. If you choose to eat peanut butter, aim for organic and make your own.


Beef. Yes, it’s cheap and perfect for a barbecue on a budget. But is it worth it? Yes, if grass fed. Most beef is not grass fed, they are fed corn or grains. Indeed cows do not have stomach meant to digest corn and grains and this feeding practice in my opinion is torturous to the animal. And in the end it is not good for us humans. When cows are fed grains or corn, the fatty acid ratio alters to be higher in the omega 6 fat, which causes inflammation. Inflammation = bad. Read my recent post on Kangaroo verse Beef  from earlier this week for more information.


Is milk not good for us? Doesn’t it do a body good? Where do I start? I will just say this, if you have an autoimmune disease avoid dairy. It is very hard, especially when you do not have any avert effects from eating it, but it is worth it. I did not believe this advice I was given until the last month where I have gone 100% dairy free. I could avoid milk easy but when it came to nice cheeses, I struggled. But I will say, my blood sugars have been remarkable without dairy and my insulin dose is down. The culprit = inflammation. Do not believe everything that is shown on TV or in ads. Do a Google search and read the many perspectives on how dairy is not all we thought it was. Choose foods that help heal and nourish your body.


Rice allergies are becoming more known, especially in those with gluten allergies. Consume and be weary of how you feel. You are the advocate of your own health. Champion it.

Sunflower oil

As mentioned above with Soy, sunflower oil is a cheap preservative in dressings and many foods. I have a hard time finding nuts (with salt) that does not have sunflower oil. This oil is high in omega 6 fatty acids, which mean can cause inflammation. Inflammation = bad.


Wheat – it has fiber, but so do many other natural, better for you foods. Choose vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, etc to fill you, rather than wheat.

Cheers to you and a road to good health!

Dietitian & Doctor Recommend Simpler Eating

Ever since my mom foresaw my love of nutrition and desire to be a dietitian, she would collect all sorts of health related articles and newspaper clips to insure I was on-top of the “latest” wellness talk. And since I just moved from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio, I came across one of these articles pulled from a 2008 Columbus Dispatch newspaper, “Doctor recommends simper eat.”

Yes, it’s slightly bizarre I am sharing a dated write-up but the included Q&A addresses topics that are taking place today, for example gluten free eating. I’ve typed the article below AND included my thoughts as a registered dietitian beneath Dr. Glen Aukerman’s comments.

Enjoy and please share your thoughts!

Doctor recommends simpler eating
August 11, 2008

Dr. Glen Aukerman, medical director of the Ohio State University Center for Integrative Medicine, sees patients from throughout the world who are seeking alternative approaches to health care.

“Someday, this probably won’t be called integrative medicine,” said Laura Kunze, program coordinator. “It will just be called medicine — good medicine.”

Aukerman recently answered some questions about nutrition.

Q: You say that eating the wrong types of fruits and vegetables ranks among the biggest mistakes that people make. What should they eat?

A: You need to have fruits and vegetables that are grown locally and harvested locally.

Kelly A: I fully believe in locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, but I would ALWAYS recommend consumers to eat any fruits and vegetables rather than not eating any at all.

Q: You say that consuming too much gluten might cause symptoms such as fatigue, dry skin, abdominal pain and difficulties with concentration, among other things.

A: We eat foods with gluten in high levels (which sometimes cause malabsorption and autoimmune diseases). Our ancestors were not able to eat at that level, and we can’t. Because our ancestors did not eat high levels of gluten, most of us do not have the enzymes to break it down. We need to be limiting our wheat, barley, rye and spelt.

Kelly A: I couldn’t agree more. Our society is so caught up in “whole grain” everything that people are eating far too many grains and not enough produce. I have been gluten free for over 6 months and have never felt better. I will also add that I am not replacing whole grain breads and sweets with gluten free products, but I am choosing to eat far more vegetables and fruit in-place of grains.

Q: One of your biggest nutritional concerns involves omega-6 oil. Recent research shows that humans are getting too much of it. In what is it found?

A: The most common example is poultry — because those (animals) are fed corn and they accumulate the corn oil. (It is) also in granola products, tortillas, hummus, chips, all nuts, peanut butter.

Kelly A: The average consumer today is eating a much higher ratio of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids and this is not consistent with our ancestors. For an explanation of an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio click here. Omega 6 fatty acids are commonly found in snack foods, crackers, and sweets. To improve your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio include more fruits and vegetables in your diet daily.

Q: Why are artificial sweeteners bad?

A: We can’t burn them, so they have to be detoxed like a chemical by our liver. Rat experiments show that, if we put rats on artificial sweeteners, they can gain more weight than if they’re eating real sugar.

Kelly A: I am not the biggest fan of man made food and I recommend that if you are not diabetic, you should make room in your calorie budget for regular sugar instead of sugar substitutes. And that is only if you choose to eat sweets at all.

Q: What should people start eating that they don’t eat — and why?

A: They should be eating lamb, pork or beef; omega-3 eggs; wild salmon; fruits and vegetables in season, frozen or canned; and rice products. Limit the corn products because of the corn oil. We advocate a diet that’s fairly simple.

Kelly A: I agree with the above mentioned foods yet I would add nuts and seeds. A few favorites are almonds, pecans and pumpkin seeds. I want to highlight that peanuts are a legume and legumes were introduced the human diet much after nuts.

Q: What are some of the most intriguing results that your patients have had?

A: We have had (older) couples go on it (a simpler diet). In six months, they’re not getting up to go to the bathroom. And in another three months, they claim their sexual appetites are what they were at 17.

Q: Walk me through a typical day of eating for you.

A: Rice (cereal) or a non-instant oatmeal; or a cornflake breakfast with either yogurt or milk on it; or some fruit that’s regional, seasonal, canned or frozen.

My lunch will sometimes be a baked potato with some broccoli and real sour cream, and an apple or a peach or a pear or some canned or frozen fruit.

And then my dinner will usually be similar, whether it’s lamb, beef, pork or beans. I may go rice and beans with some fruits and vegetables.

Kelly A: I’ve blogged a 5 day food log about a month ago. Click here to begin viewing with day 1.

Q: You noted a study showing that people who eat cornflakes or rice cereals for two meals a day are healthier by about 50 percent.

A: Yes, the Spanish School Nutrition study indicates we eat way too complex.We think variety is more important than it is for health.

Q: What Web sites do you recommend checking when creating a personalized nutrition plan?

A: efaeducation.nih.gov, www.nutritiondata.com and www.mypyramid.gov.

Kelly A: I love reading articles from whfoods.com and I love using the diet tools on fitday.com.