Why we need to stay critical… about everything!

After seeing this TED talk video by surgeon Peter Attia, I am forced to revise my post on the social impact of diabetes, which you can read through this link: Diabetes the Social Impact.

I encourage you all to watch this video. It will really change your view on the connection between diabetes and obesity. At least it did for me. It’s surprising, emotional and above all a real eye-opener.

Throw everything you think you know about diabetes out the window, because what we know might be wrong. Like I said in my other post on this topic, type 2 diabetes is often the outcome of obesity. I my opinion, or so I thought, obese people should merely eat the right things and exercise to decrease the risk of diabetes (and consequently also obesity). Yet in this video Peter Attia talks about his own story and tells us why we might be wrong. He explains what happened to him.

Despite exercising and eating all the right things, he gained weight anyway. Apparently his cells became insulin resistant (a precursor for diabetes). This means that the pancreatic beta-cells still produce insulin but the cells become resistant towards it and don’t use it effectively to take in the glucose. This made him wonder if obesity might actually be a symptom of diabetes and not the other way around.

The medical society nowadays makes us fight obesity to prevent diabetes. But this might be completely the wrong approach. Fighting obesity (by eating right and exercising) was something Peter did all his live and he still developed the disease. It’s like Peter says:

“What if we’re fighting the wrong war – fighting obesity instead of insulin resistance?”

So obviously I need to review my last opinion on this topic and state that in some cases exercising and a healthy diet might do the trick but in other cases it won’t. Furthermore, we need to remember to always think critically. Certainty is the enemy of wisdom and it often becomes the norm in medicine and science in general yet it shouldn’t.

You can follow Peter Attia’s blog here.

Why our understanding of obesity and diabetes may be wrong: a Q&A with surgeon Peter Attia

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