Tag Archives: study

Diabetes Becoming A Hot Topic

Every once in a while I like to take the time to step aside for a bit and bring in a guest blogger. Usually it’s somebody with something specific to pitch or to tell you dudes about.

This time is no different. John Doe (yeah, really) works with the Diabetes Care Community website, which is based out of our neighbor to the north, Canada. My quick perusal of the website showed that it does offer links to and information about a variety of products for dealing with diabetes, so I wanted to be clear on that. I don’t think it’s a for-profit website (not that there’s anything wrong with it), but I do like to make sure any financial ties are enumerated clearly.


John Doe sent in a nice post about the increased awareness of diabetes among the general population, along with some ideas for why this is happening.

Take it away, John.

In recent years, there has been a sudden surge of interest in diabetes, with new articles, magazines and cookbooks appearing on the subject every day. Why is diabetes suddenly such a hot topic? And is modern Western culture to blame for the rapid rise in diabetes numbers?

 This article explores some of the facts, figures and opinions that are intensifying the search for more effective diabetes treatments and, ultimately, for a cure.

 Rising incidence of diabetes

The first official definition of diabetes as a serious disease occurred way back in the 16th century in a report by Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus, a noted Swiss physician. Yet it has taken hundreds of years to become top of mind as a condition that we all need to be concerned about.

 This increased level of interest coincides with a sharp rise in the numbers of diabetics. Diabetes is becoming more common everywhere in the world, and has been referred to as a global epidemic.

 A recent study puts the number of diabetics worldwide at over 347 million. That is more than the entire population of the United States. Most troubling, the number has more than doubled since 1980, when incidence was estimated at 153 million.

I’m going to stop you here for a bit, John. We’ll return tomorrow with the wrap-up to John’s article, in which he contemplates whether or not there are connections between the rise of diabetes incidence and our Western culture.

I have a feeling the answer could be in the positive, mostly because we’ve been talking (as a culture, not necessarily all the time here) about how Americans are growing more and more rotund and that’s not a good thing. Especially when you consider one of the types of diabetes, which I’m sure John will cover tomorrow.

Anyway. We’ll see you tomorrow.

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The Now You Versus The Future You

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

For Walt Whitman, astonishingly erudite poet of years gone by, it was a sign of intelligence, of passion, of an attempted understanding of the world’s infinite variations.

For most other people? Eh, not so much.

How many times have you had to defend yourself when you suddenly have a different opinion than one you previously held? In a politician, that’s called flip-flopping and it’s considered a bad thing. Not sure I understand that. I mean, if you continue researching a problem, come up with new information, why is it a good thing to hold to an outdated opinion, rather than reassessing what you do based on new information?

And that’s what I wanted to talk about today. How it’s likely that you as a parent are going to run afoul of you decreed as a parent years, months or even days before. And how, really, that’s all right, even though you’re going to have to fight the little dudes and dudettes about it.

There’s two concepts I want to include in this: Present bias and generalization.

Present bias is something we covered over the last couple of days when we talked about procrastination with David McRaney, from You Are Not So Smart. It’s the inability to understand that your desires will change over time. That what you want today is not necessarily what you will want next month.

The now you may see the costs and rewards at stake when it comes time to choose studying for the test instead of going to the club, eating the salad instead of the cupcake, writing the article instead of playing the video game.

The trick is to accept the now you will not be the person facing those choices, it will be the future you – a person who can’t be trusted. Future-you will give in, and then you’ll go back to being now-you and feel weak and ashamed. Now-you must trick future-you into doing what is right for both parties.

In this case, McRaney was talking about how the people who acknowledge that they will procrastinate and find ways to work around it are better prepared to counter that tendency to put off until tomorrow what needs to be done the day after tomorrow.

In dealing with the little dudes, it comes into how we set the rules. For instance, you might decide that it’s all right for the little dudette to stay up later for a week because there’s a great educational series on Discovery that you want to share with her, as a sort of father-daughter bonding experience. So you guarantee that she’ll be able to do it all week.

However, two days into it, you come down with a cold and decide you both need to hit the hay early, taping the show to watch later. When you promised up late every night, you didn’t conceive that the future you might want to change things.

So even though going to bed early is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, considering the circumstances, your little dudette is not going to be happy about it. Here’s the thing: You can’t beat yourself up about it. She, or any little dudes involved, will be more than happy to give you grief, you don’t need to heap any more on your own shoulders.

It’s important to know that, while you must do everything you can to keep your promises, to make sure that future you does what now you says he will, sometimes life makes other decisions when we’re not looking.

We can’t predict the future, but that doesn’t stop us from assuming that we will always be the same as time goes on. And when you add that to the idea of generalization. . .

Well, that’s a story for tomorrow.


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Isn’t There Supposed To Be More To Life Than Just Work?

On my way to work at Awesome Elementary School the other day, I started yelling at the radio. Okay, sure, not that unusual, but this was because of a commercial.

It was a commercial for some sort of remote-desktop software that lets you see and manipulate files on your work computer even when you’re not on site. I’m not going to put the name of the company here because I don’t want to give it any sort of pub.

The gist of the commercial went along the lines of “why drag yourself in to the office when you’re sick when you can work from home with . . . (insert name of silly company here.)”

Really? Really?

This is what we’ve come to?

When you’re sick, when you should be concentrating on getting better by getting rest and possibly some extra sleep. . . we’re supposed to feel guilty about not being at work?

I know the economy is horrible and it’s a hiring market out there, but this is getting ridiculous. We’re expected to have smartphones on and with us at all times so we can check on work e-mail as soon as it’s necessary. We have to be in contact at all times. It’s almost like we’re a nation of doctors, all on call every night, waiting for something of importance to be delivered. And when it is, we’re supposed to act on it at once.

The American worker has the fewest paid vacation days in the entire Western world. The fewest. And there actually are people who see that as a serious plus to our industrial/service organizations. I consider it a horrible minus. Study after study has shown that a relaxed worker is a better worker, someone who will do more creative work than the dulled-by-endless-days-of-drudgery worker.

And yet we still limit people to, if they’re lucky, two weeks of vacation out of the entire year. Two weeks. A mere 10 days out of 365, not even 3% of the year.

Still, it’s not enough. Now we’ve got a company that wants to guilt us into working from home when we’re sick. When we’re sick, and this company actually has the gall to make it sound like working from home when you’re sick is something you should be proud to be doing.

Dudes, just be sick. Focus on getting better. Really.

Take it from me, when the revolution comes, that company will be the first up against the wall.

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