What is true in the United States seems to be true of many other nations when it comes to diabetes. When the population as a whole gains weight the instances of diabetes increases. Research in one Asian country seems to blame western fast food for the dramatic rise in diabetes.
Australia’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research conducted the study in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The BBC reported that, “about 11% of men and 12% of women… had undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.” This didn’t count the 4% who had already been confirmed as having diabetes.
Professor Tuan Nguyen of the Garvan Institute told the BBC, “Dietary patterns have been changing dramatically in Vietnam in recent years, particularly in the cities as they become more Westernized.”
It seems that studies in various other Asian countries point to the potential of fast food and a change in lifestyle as the predominant reason for the spread of diabetes.
I suppose the greatest difficulty for leaders of any country is that food is the one area that can be hard to police and may be viewed as a harsh and unusual form of control. Many choose fast food for convenience while other choose it for taste. In all cases it is a sense of freedom that predicates the choice of what food is ultimately consumed.
In America where the financial system is built on capitalism it can be hard to deny paying customers the food items for which they are willing to pay. If a fast food restaurant moved toward a position of only serving health food they may find that their customer base would shrink dramatically. In fact the success of U.S. fast food chains has convinced them they have a formula that works. From a business standpoint it makes sense to export the product and increase their profitability.
Most people do not want someone telling them what they can and can’t eat. Fast food restaurants certainly aren’t going to be the ones to force you to eat something you don’t want. However, they will change direction when customers demand changes.
Any changes that we are going to see in fast food restaurants will be because we, as consumers, make different choices. If restaurants discover that a healthier product will sell they will begin offering healthier foods in general. The menu of virtually every restaurant is consumer driven.
Restaurant owners want to be successful in business so they will be responsive to consumer demand.
To put this in perspective you need to know that as a diabetic or pre-diabetic the changes you need to make will be changes you personally make. Fast food restaurants will not change their menu simply because you have dietary restrictions. You will be responsible for your own diet and lifestyle.
At some point one has to think that when/if diabetes becomes an epidemic it will become the best interest of the fast food restaurants to alter their menu because at that point it is conceivable those with diabetes will sadly become a group large enough to tip the balance in favor of healthy foods and adjusted portion sizes.
However, instead of waiting for this scenario to happen you can take control of your health and begin making personal changes today – on your own. This self-disciplined approach frees you from having to wait until a universal change takes place in what truly would be a worse case scenario.