Saturday, September 12, 2009

A hospital snack for diabetics.

Yesterday I had occasion to wait for a few hours in the emergency at the Montreal General Hospital. During my six-hour wait to see a doctor, I was quite interested to see how things worked.

An elderly gentleman, I'd say about 85 years old, had been admitted, his wife by him. I overheard the E.R. nurse's conversation with him, and overheard that he was diabetic, his current blood glucose being measured at 8.5 mmol/L (153 mg/dL), rather high.

Since the wait was long, he was offered a supper. It came on a tray, with a large strip of paper on it labeled "diabetic".

The supper consisted of:
  • Vegetable soup
  • a package of two soda crackers
  • egg salad sandwich on white bread
  • three raw baby carrots
  • fruit salad cup
  • 4 oz. "cranberry cocktail"
The man had half the soup, left the carrots, and finished the sandwich, fruit and drink. The hospital is giving crackers, white bread, fruit and sugar water to an elderly diabetic! I was pretty well horrified. I asked the wife casually if she didn't think it was odd that they feed sugar-water to a diabetic (12 grams of sugar in the cranberry drink). Her reply was, "I'm sure they know what they're doing."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Not seeing in front of their noses

There is an article in the L.A. Times concerning the obesity problem particularly in Hispanic children. This quote is key:

Looking more closely at the foods the kids ate, 68% of calories came primarily from soda, desserts, pizza, chips, fruit drinks, fruit juice, processed meats and burgers. About one-fourth of the children went over the maximum intake level of 25% for added sugars.

So, after having seen this, what do you suppose the headline is?
Hispanic children are getting most nutrients, but eating too much fat
Say what? That list clearly implicates sugar as the problem! Unbelievable!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Australian researchers still fret over LDL.

This report comes from the 17th Obesity conference in Amsterdam.  It worries that a long-term low-carbohydrate diet increases LDL cholesterol, in spite of quite a hike in HDL!  I thought it was already well known that saturated fat increases both so what's the big surprise here?  I don't have the source of the paper, and they don't mention particle size or VLDL measurements.

The presenter, Dr. Clifton, seems very concerned about the modest rise in LDL, but silent on the substantial rise in HDL, which I thought is known to be a much better marker for low CVD risk. Further, he attributes this rise not to the diet, but to the modest weight loss in the study group!

It's hard to tell what's really going on based solely on the news report.  One thing I will have to check on is "flow-mediated dilation" (FMD) which is a measure the researchers seem concerned with.