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Fight against diabetes

I may be wrong, and I usually; but am I this time?

Barbadians are said to be be-deviled with non-communicable diseases, especially diabetes, otherwise known as sugar! I wonder if there is anything in the fact that we are/were a sugar producing country. The irony is there of course!

We are also said to be the amputation capital of the world; not an achievement for which we can be proud, but some are saying that this can be reversed. I am not sure what the plan is to do such but yours truly, a chronic diabetic, has come upon an idea which may have some worth.

I believe that one of the major reasons behind diabetes, and believe me it is prevalent throughout not only the region, but also the Western world and maybe beyond! I have tried several can’t-miss relievers/reversers unsuccessfully and so before I submit to the inevitable (?) insulin injections twice a day my mind has been wandering as to how as a nation we can stave off or reverse diabetes, which hopefully would include moi!

The reasons behind high sugar intake comes from things like sweet drinks, “natural” juices loaded with sugar, our love for flour products, rice, pastas and certain alcoholic drinks, to name a few. In case you don’t know, carbohydrates break down into sugars inside our bodies!

It is my belief that if as a nation we came together to fight it like we would any other defendable situation, then we can go a long way in reducing the incidence of the dreaded diabetes.

My idea, to take you out of your angst, is that all the producers of sweet carbonated waters, fruit juices (natural and otherwise) agree to reduce the amounts of sugar they use gradually, over the period of a year or a year and a half. This could also be done for the makers of sweetbread, turnovers, currant/coconut slices etc. The premise behind this is that if it is done this way consumers would hardly notice the difference!

By the time you know it, we would have greatly reduced sugar amounts in all our popular drinks and even the kids, who are reportedly now menaced by juvenile diabetes, can lead healthier lifestyles while the producers of the said products can maintain the bottom dollar! Yes, I know that the sugar producers are asking what about them. If I am not mistaken, almost all of our sugar is exported!

Obviously, it has to be a nationally coordinated effort for the idea to be successful and then we can sell it to the world rather than we sit down and wait for the “developed world” to sell us more medication.

For those who know and especially those who do not, please be reminded that diabetes related complications can lead to blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and amputation of limbs!

— William Smokey Burke

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