Letters: No cure for diabetes, so manage it properly

The following letters appear in the August 19 edition of The Independent

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As someone who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 15 years ago, I was interested to read the warning from Diabetes UK about the spread of the disease. It is unfortunate in my view that this charity does not do more to educate people.

Go into their website and you will be told there is no cure. Though there might not be a cure, there certainly is an “effective cure” in the majority of cases.

The secret is to go on to a sensible diet, exercise and lose weight. As the weight comes down, so does the blood sugar level, until eventually it comes down to a normal reading. You are not cured, because you cannot then cram in the sugar, but provided you stick to sensible eating you won’t have any complications and will not need the services of the NHS.

Rather than just give out dire warnings, Diabetes UK should tell their members that if they are Type 2 the aim is to avoid tablets, insulin and the NHS, even if this means giving up puddings, cream cakes and sugary drinks.

Malcolm Howard
Banstead, Surrey

 

Once again we have another report of the health problems caused by poor lifestyle choices. The dietary habits of 3 million people are contributing towards this epidemic of diabetes this country faces.

The Government seems to have no coherent policy.It achieved success with campaigns to reduce smoking and to increase awareness of Aids, yet in the area of the country’s eating habits it seems to be quiet. The food industry is massive and maybe even the Government cannot challenge their practices.

Maybe one simple guide might help. Sugar is hidden in foods and people are often totally oblivious to how much sugar they eat every day. On food labelling, why not show the equivalent number of sugar lumps the pack contains, not so much per 100 grams, but per serving, and other confusing equations. Quite simple: “This pack contains the equivalent of X sugar cubes”, with a graphic next to the wording.

I’m sure the food industry will find reasons why not to do it. It’s not complicated or difficult unless the mighty food industry chooses to make it so. Are we really serious about the health of our nation?

David Benson
Birmingham

 

Your article on the diabetes epidemic which threatens to engulf the NHS (17 August) focuses on the inadequacies of care in the established disease. It isn’t poor care we should be lambasting. It’s the shameful failure of successive governments to risk political incorrectness and condemn the obese for their habits and worse still, those who allow their children to become obese.

Michael O’Leary was not far off the mark when he mooted charging his Ryanair passengers by the kilo. Obliging the over-indulgent to pay for their excesses would soon sort out this crisis which threatens the very heart of our health service.

Peter Mahaffey
Cardington, Bedfordshire

 

Satanic alliance against Corbyn

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown says that “the right, Blairites and hard Zionists have formed the most unholy of alliances” against Jeremy Corbyn (17 August).

As a sometime parliamentary candidate for the Conservative Party, I am torn about how I should react. 

Should I be amused by Alibhai-Brown’s recognition of the mephistophelian side of Blair’s nature, prophesied in the famous Conservative “demon-eyes” poster, or should I be appalled by her extension of this satanic reference to “hard Zionists” (that is to say any Jew who disagrees politically with her), and her allegation that all are somehow in a conspiracy?

I can assure her that to date, no one has approached me to synchronise opinions on this candidate. So that’s one Zionist who is wholly out of the equation. Does that make me un-wholly?

Lydia Rivlin
London N10

 

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown writes that it is a sign of “how low Labour has sunk” that the accusation of anti-Semitism against Jeremy Corbyn has been allowed to spread. Here’s a brief overview of why that charge has gained traction:

Corbyn has described Hamas and Hezbollah, genocidal theocrats who believe in the spiritual value of exterminating Jews, as “friends”. He defended Stephen Sizer, a pastor who was condemned by the Church of England for promoting the conspiracy theory that Jews orchestrated the 9/11 attacks.

He championed Raed Salah, an Islamist hate preacher who claimed Jews murder children in order to use their blood for culinary purposes. And until a recent public outcry, he was set to share a stage with Carlos Latuff, prize-winning contributor to Iran’s “Mock the Holocaust” cartoon competition.

Of course, none of this means that Corbyn himself is an anti-Semite. But it’s probably a better indicator of how low Labour has sunk that a man with this level of naivety is on track to lead the party.

Paul Charney
Chairman, Zionist Federation UK
London N3

 

BBC programme funding row

The BBC Trust welcomes the findings by Ofcom about some programmes broadcast on BBC World News, its international commercial channel (“BBC showed propaganda films – but didn’t tell its viewers”, 18 August).

The Trust carried out its own investigation four years ago and found a number of these programmes in serious breach of editorial and sponsorship guidelines.At that time we required the BBC to broadcast a series of apologies to international audiences and also required the BBC to tighten its compliance processes.

As a result, no similar programmes have been commissioned since the Trust published its finding.

Richard Ayre
BBC Trustee Chair of Trust Editorial Standards Committee
London W1

 

Too right that the public should have their say (“BBC: let the public, not politicians, decide our future”, 17 August), but it will cost you.

The consultation document can be downloaded, but be prepared to cut down a tree and use up a lot of ink, because it runs to 175 pages.

So I decided to buy it from Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. The HMSO website referred me to Dandy Books. Does this mean that even Her Majesty’s Stationery Office has been privatised? What a state we are in. I suppose it is a little better than Beano Books. 

The Dandy Books website search came up with “no record” of it. Worn out, I resorted to Amazon and had to cough up £38.50, including postage and packing.

So much for public consultation. One could be forgiven for forming the impression that the Government would prefer the public to keep out of it.

Colin Yardley
Chislehurst, Kent

 

How not to reform the House of Lords

Your editorial “Put the House in order” (18 August) proposes an Upper House containing representatives of various special interest groups such as local authorities, business groups, universities and charities.

What you are suggesting sounds rather like Seanad Eireann, the upper house of the Irish parliament, a mixture of directly elected representatives, government appointees and nominees of various interest groups.

So unpopular is this house, thus constituted, that in a referendum held in October 2013 the Seanad came within a whisker of being abolished; not an auspicious example.

John Smurthwaite
Leeds

 

Cameron risks a teacher exodus

David Cameron wants every school to become an academy, as if a name-change is all that sector needs to achieve perfection.

There are already staff recruitment and retention problems in schools. Furthermore, many teachers have a strong public-service ethic which may prove incompatible with the commercial input associated with academies. An exodus by qualified and experienced staff could ensue, the results of which not only bode ill for pupils but will reflect badly on those promoting academies.

S Lawton
Kirtlington, Oxfordshire

 

David Cameron suggests that only academies provide strong standards and discipline. What an insult to the thousands of teachers who work or worked in schools under local education authorities. No wonder education has a recruitment problem.

John Payne
Lowestoft, Suffolk

 

Goodbye, cruel world

There have been many recent references to the 1983 Labour Party manifesto as “the longest suicide note in history”. It wasn’t. That title belongs to the late Jeffrey Bernard’s “Low Life” column in The Spectator, although it is also fair to say that they were both hilarious.

Stan Hughes
East Hagbourne, Oxfordshire

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