Diabetes – An Everyday Guide

The other day, I saw yet another article on the BBC News website about diabetes. It mentioned that about 850,000 people in the UK have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. The UK medical authority (NICE – I can never remember what that stands for…) reckons that  these people should qualify for a gastric band funded by the NHS.

First of all, I can’t see this happening – the NHS is strapped for cash just trying to keep up existing commitments.

More to the point, this is still not a good thing for all those people; the BMI  is an indication of how chubby one is. You don’t have to be seriously obese to have a high BMI reading, and a high level increases your chances of landing up with type II diabetes.

I’ve had type II diabetes for years and years, and it clicked eventually that being a writer, I ought to study and write a book about this subject. So, I did, and I think I’m going to add little updates here about the book, because it might help someone in getting down to doing something about their condition – too many people don’t understand how much is involved in having diabetes – it’s much more than just a matter of avoiding sugar.

So, here’s the first little update, namely, pointing out how common, yet unhealthy, it is, to have too much fat for your particular body size. Most of us aren’t obese, but you don’t have to be, to still have some risk of developing diabetes.

You can easily check your own BMI rating using a calculator, and here’s the formula – I’ll list both the metric and imperial methods, use whichever you prefer.

Metric Calculation

Divide your weight in kilograms (Kg) by [your height in metres (m) squared].

Here’s an example:

Take a weight of 70 Kg and a height of 1.8 m:

divide 70 by (1.8 x 1.8) = BMI

So, this person’s BMI is 70 divided by 3.24 = 21.6

Imperial Calculation

Divide your weight in pounds (lb) by the square of your height in inches (in), and then multiply by 703.

For a person weighing 160 lb and 71 in. tall:

160 divided by (71 x 71), x 703

So, BMI = (160 / 5,041) x 703 = 0.031739 x 703 = 22.3

There are tables in my book (page 71) that make the calculation very simple, no calculator needed. There’s also a table linking your waist size to different BMI levels.

Yes, I am punting my book, but it’s never going to be a bestseller and I’m not trying for that; I wrote it with Jan’s help and research, over a period of 13 months, because it has helped me in getting control of my diabetes, and if it works for me, it’ll work for other people as well. It’s an easy-to-understand book for living day-to-day with this problem, and I’ve learnt that there is so much that makes a type II life easier, without having to do without everything nice. The UK in particular is very helpful in the way that most foods are labelled with the sugar and fat content – consistently – so you can see exactly what you can have – or not.

For the record – Jan doesn’t have diabetes, but we both eat the same at mealtimes. He’ll go and have a trifle or something that I won’t, but he doesn’t suffer by eating the same as me – it’s his choice and he doesn’t feel deprived. Most of the time, it simply comes down to eating properly, whether you’re diabetic or not!

Sure, type I people have a harder time, but eating properly helps things along for them as well.

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