Sometimes an Apple is Never a Banana

meowser-48.jpg posted by meowser

Oh, uh…hai. Yep, I still exist. I just haven’t posted because I’ve been monumentally busy offline with some disability-rights stuff, and I’ve had to work overtime, and also..well, you know how when you haven’t called someone in a very very long time it makes you more hesitant to call them, because…well, where do you start?

But I just read something that made me say, “Okay, start here.” It was a story about a 375-pound prisoner who was granted a reprieve by a judge of one day for every pound lost, and needless to say, GIANT TW on the entire thing, but the gist of it was that the man lost 25 pounds in 20 days, which shocked even the judge, and that situation was just a big rusty nail on which to hang a bunch of fattypanic and diabeeetus catastrophization on. You know, the US TV networks. That’s what they do.

And then there was this:

According to an August 2011 report, if every obese person decreased his or her body mass index by just 1 percent (a loss of 2 pounds for a 200-pound adult), as many as 2.4 million diabetes cases, 1.7 million cases of heart disease and stroke and 127,000 cancer cases could be prevented.

Okay, that’s one of those “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof” situations, is it not? All I have to lose is two measly pounds, and I’ll live forever? Why didn’t they say so? All I have to do is stop taking my stomach medicine and start going doody eight times a day again, and…well, okay, maybe not that. Maybe I could start blowing my nose harder after I sneeze? Yeah, that sounds a lot easier.

Still, I couldn’t help but follow the link back to this alleged study that said any weight loss at all, by any possible means, is the difference between deathly sick and lifetime well. (Warning on more TW, plus video opens automatically at the link.) And then followed another link within that story (same warnings apply). And wouldn’t you know it, it’s just more sub-Wagnerian opera about how we’re “projected” to all be fat and diabetic by the year 2030, using about the same methodology which “projects,” in the deathless words of Paul Campos, “that within a few generations Olympic sprinters will be running at speeds that will hurl them into low Earth orbit and everyone in America will have a plasma TV seventeen miles wide.”

In other words, they don’t actually have any data, it’s just more OMG WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE IF WE DON’T STOP EATING sillyshit, the likes of which I’ve learned how to screen out because I’d rather not have to add an antihypertensive to my already burdensome drug cocktail. But I actually followed yet another link to the CDC page that made these “projections,” and this passage leaped out at me like Alan Arkin in Wait Until Dark:

One in 10 U.S. adults has diabetes now. The prevalence is expected to rise sharply over the next 40 years due to an aging population more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, increases in minority groups that are at high risk for type 2 diabetes, and people with diabetes living longer, according to CDC projections published in the journal Population Health Metrics. Because the study factored in aging, minority populations and lifespan, the projections are higher than previous estimates.

Do you see what I see? People with diabetes are living longer. Yeah, isn’t the whole reason they wave DIABETES DIABETES DIABETES DOOM DOOM DOOM LOSE THE WEIGHT ALL OF IT RIGHT NAO NAO NAO FATASS at us all day, every day, because this is an allegedly deadly disease that will first turn us into people with disabilities (which nobody wants to be, of course, because Disability = Tragedy), and then kill us dead before we can get to our children’s college graduations? What are you saying, that’s not happening anymore? Because it’s being diagnosed and managed earlier and only a small percentage of diabetes patients actually experience major comorbidities before they’re very old, at which point they might actually die of something else first? It’s now more like osteoporosis or hypothyroidism, something old people commonly get but is extremely manageable? Well, gosh, that’s not exactly setting my ass on fire to get down to Jenny Craig right away, is it? Surely ABC can’t have that.

I mean, seriously. Is anyone in the Paid Media, or any of the Upper-Class Twits they interview almost exclusively about these matters, paying attention to what’s going on out there? People are losing their jobs left and right and not getting new ones, like ever. Kids are graduating from college with more debt than they’d have to go into to buy a condo, and they’re not getting jobs that actually use their educations, like ever. Those of us who DO have jobs are being worked to fucking death and having our compensation slashed and basically being treated like sled dogs at Iditarod only less intelligent, and we have no recourse because once we lose those jobs we won’t ever get new ones. Like ever. Think that’s going to fuck up our health some, Upper-Class Twits? And if you really want to decrease the costs of diabetes, how about negotiating drug prices like every other industrialized country, so we don’t have to smuggle our insulin down from Canada if we lose our employee-sponsored health insurance? How about limiting the compensation insurance executives can pull down, so that it’s not in the multi-globillions? The poor babies will just have to settle for the $10,000 bottle of wine they have on hand, instead of dispatching an assistant in the Airbus to go pick up a different bottle from the wine cellar at the Amagansett house and bring it back to Antibes because the one they have doesn’t go spectacularly well with abalone. Awwwwww.

Think about it, though. I’m pretty sure the people who run the US government would love nothing more than if at least half the nonaffluent people in this country would just die already. There aren’t enough jobs to go around and never will be, the social safety net is in tatters, they just don’t know how we’re gonna keep all us useless eaters alive for the next 20 years, diabetes or no diabetes. Our dropping dead would make things infinitely easier for them. So if one more potential death sentence gets eliminated, how are they going to manage that?

Today’s type 2 diabetes is not yesterday’s type 2 diabetes. Not only was yesterday’s diabetes rarely diagnosed before the end stages, when gangrene and retinopathy and such had already set in, but they keep ratcheting the definition down all the time; I’ve even seen some doctors recommend a maximum HbA1c of no more than 5. (Mine is 5.7, and I’ve never had a fasting sugar over 92, ever.) So it’s apples to bananas again. It’s as if they managed to increase the average lifespan of prostate-having persons to age 90, then started yowling because the rate of prostate cancer was skyrocketing. Well, no freaking poopie it is! But did you see the AVERAGE LIFESPAN OF 90 part? Really, folks, we should be so lucky that we’ll all be 85-year-old diabetics one day.