The NY Times has another patient voices report up and this one is on type 2 diabetes.  I love these features as it gives a good perspective on how people view their own illnesses, how it affects their life, and provides insight into a patient’s mind.

There is also a discussion going on at the Well blog about type 2 diabetes with some really interesting comments from patients and relatives.  It highlights not only the experience of living with type 2 diabetes but also showcases some of the public misinformation and ignorance of the diabetic diseases.

My grand daughter has diabetes type 1. At 13 she has to control her eating , exercise and constant monitoring. And at 13 she has fantastic control. All these people in pictures are over weight [sic]. Where is your control? Don’t cry sympathy from me.

This comment from Donna Handy gives a good picture about public misunderstanding of the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the weight management issues of each of these diseases is very different and few people know this.  But I don’t expect the lay public to be able to talk about diseases and the mechanisms for how they act so these are great forums for people to get some understanding.

It’s interesting to hear how many of the patients have been “cured” by changing their diet and exercise routines.  This only lends more power to the fact that we need to change the eating habits of the nation in order to fight the growing prevalence of this disease.  As we all know, habits are hard things to break which is why I try to focus so much on kids and what we feed them in schools.  Setting good eating habits can be established early on, everyone is so worried about what they put in their infants mouths and how healthy it is for them but it seems as soon as the child is able to talk and ask for things that concern acquiesces to satisfying their desires.  The same can be said for the food we let into our middle and high schools and the unhealthy choices we give to the kids.  Targeting children is a good way to make a huge impact, a generational change in the way we deal with food.  Hopefully as the health care debate continues to rage on we can start to agree that our eating habits are a huge part of this equation, that what we put into our body 2-3 times a day will have a significant impact on our health as we age.