Just when I think the medical profession can’t sink any lower, it digs a trench a climbs in.
My previous post was about a new study claiming that surgery reverses diabetes more effectively than diet and drugs – the only problem, of course, was that the diet was the American Diabetes Association’s high-carbohydrate diet. The study was set up to produce a better outcome for surgery. That’s sinking pretty low.
Now here’s the new low: Researchers are giving a diabetes drug to pregnant women, essentially drugging their unborn babies, in an attempt to prevent the babies from becoming obese. Here are some quotes from an article in the U.K. Daily Mail:
In a world first, dangerously overweight mothers-to-be in four British cities have started taking a diabetes drug during their pregnancy. The doctors behind the controversial NHS trial say that obesity among pregnant women is reaching epidemic proportions and they need to act now to protect the health of tomorrow’s children.
Yes, they do need to act now. They could start by telling pregnant women that the Eat Well Plate (the UK’s version of our USDA Food Plate) is a crock of @#$%. Here’s what the official Eat Well site recommends:
- Plenty of fruit and vegetables
- Plenty of potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy foods
- Some milk and dairy foods
- Some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
- Just a small amount of foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar
So you’re an obese, insulin-resistant British mom-to-be, and you follow the Eat Well guidelines by eating plenty of fruit, plenty of starchy foods, and just a bit of meat and dairy. Great. You just sent your blood sugar through the roof.
I swear, every time I see these government goofballs put fat and sugar into the same category, I want to kidnap two of them, stuff a pound of sugar down one’s throat and a pound of lard down the other’s, then have them compare notes on the effects. They might notice a slight difference.
However, there is likely to be unease about resorting to medication in pregnancy for a problem that can be treated through changes in diet and exercise.
Yes, this problem can be treated through changes in diet. But not if the diet consists of plenty of fruit and plenty of potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy foods.
If the strategy is a success, the treatment could be in widespread use in as little as five years, with tens of thousands of overweight but otherwise healthy mothers-to-be drugged each year.
This will be a boon not just for the pharmaceutical industry, but for the paper industry as well. Doctors will be going through prescription pads like crazy.
The Daily Mail recently revealed the rise of the ‘sumo baby’, with the number of newborns weighing more than 11lb soaring by 50 per cent over the last four years.
Remember the days when a big baby was considered a healthy baby? Not anymore. Now more and more babies are big because they’ve already been biochemically programmed to become obese.
The trial involves 400 pregnant women in Liverpool, Coventry, Sheffield and Edinburgh. They have started taking metformin, which has been safely used by diabetics for decades and is cleared for the treatment of diabetes in pregnancy. It costs just pence per tablet.
Okay, maybe not a huge boon to the pharmaceutical industry. But tens of thousands of prescriptions will still add up to a tidy profit.
The study aims to exploit the ability of metformin to lower levels of the hormone insulin in the bloodstream. Obese women make more insulin than other mothers-to-be and this leads to a greater nutrition supply reaching the baby. It is hoped that lowering levels of insulin will reduce the supply and so cut the odds of babies being born obese.
What, they’re blaming high levels of insulin? No, no, no .. insulin has nothing to do with becoming obese. Just ask all those people who are calling Gary Taubes an idiot on their blogs. The problem here is food reward. The moms are eating too much palatable food, so their babies are sitting there in the womb thinking, “Dang, that’s good stuff! Salty, sweet, fatty … delicious! I’m going to open the spigot on my feeding tube and have another couple of servings!”
Study leader Professor Jane Norman of Edinburgh University said: ‘One of the challenges is that many women feel perfectly healthy but there is very good evidence that women who are obese have an increased risk of pregnancy problems and their babies are at risk, and we’d like to reduce that risk.’
Addressing concerns about unborn babies being medicated for a problem that many would say could be treated by diet and exercise, she said: ‘I absolutely support the improvement of diet and encouraging exercise. ‘But we are increasingly faced with women who start their pregnancy obese. Saying at that stage to eat less and exercise more is not particularly helpful.’
No, we shouldn’t be telling pregnant women to eat less. We should be telling them to eat differently. We should be telling them to adopt a diet that doesn’t pump their unborn babies full of insulin. Giving pregnant women a drug to beat down their glucose and insulin levels when switching to a low-carb, high-fat diet will accomplish the same goal is just nuts.
p.s. — I apologize for going all day without checking comments. I was juggling projects and just now got around to it.