At Informed Health, we celebrate that Dr James Muecke has been named Australian of the Year 2020, so well deserved! Dr Muecke has indicated that he is going to use the platform provided by winning this award to raise awareness about the harms of sugar and refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods carbohydrates, especially in the management of Type 2 Diabetes.
Dr Muecke believes Carbohydrate Addiction falls under a *Human Rights* issue because most people are not told that sugar and refined carbohydrates are addictive.
As an Ophthalmologist, he is aware that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults. The condition affects about one in 10 Australians, is the fastest-growing cause of blindness in Aboriginal people, and the sixth-biggest killer in the country.
We agree with Dr Muecke that we need multiple strategies to deal with this “looming catastrophe for our health system”. There are several issues around sugar including:
- Sugar is available everywhere and hard to avoid (75% of our foods and drinks have added sugar)
- Sugar is addictive
- Sugar is advertised too heavily (often in sneaky ways as a “healthy”
- Sugar is commonly used to alleviate stress and numb or push down emotions
After many years of talking about this issue and being seen as radical, we are so glad that this knowledge is now largely accepted as truth! Finally
Over the years the Dietitians Association of Australia have had corporate partnerships with the cereal industry and junk food industry; agreeing to use their members to ‘influence, protect and actively defend’ not only cereals and grains, but sugar too. This kind of influence has prevented a clear message on sugar being taught in schools and in the general community.
When Dr Gary Fettke became a vocal advocate of preventative health, and raised the same issues about sugar and refined/processed carbohydrates back in 2013; he was banned from talking to his patients and publicly about nutrition (for helping his clients avoid having their limbs amputated), yes that is right, for helping people get better! We supported Gary and other pioneers in this field right from the beginning. It took 2 years for Gary to be vindicated and allowed to discuss nutrition again.
Like Dr Muecke, Gary was seeing people with end-stage diabetes. Dr Muecke deals with sight, Gary’s job was debriding and amputating bits of feet, and even lower legs, every single week in the Northern Tasmanian public health system. A system that by the way, still does not have a junk food policy in place and includes 3 desserts per day as their ‘diabetic menu’!
“What we should be doing is going right back to the start and saying what’s causing type 2 diabetes – and that it’s a dietary disease due to consumption of too much sugar and refined carbohydrates in processed food.”
I am hopeful that 2020 will be the year that we stop putting corporate interests in front of health and put into place the knowledge we have to stop this terrible suffering that in soooo many cases can be avoided!
I chatted to Chris IIsley on 6PR 882 Perth Tonight on this topic: