What If We’re Wrong About Obesity and Diabetes?

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Do we know everything there is to know about diabetes? Of course not. But perhaps we don’t even know everything we think we know about this disease. Could it be possible that some of the most fundamental pieces of our knowledge are not actually true?

For example, it is widely accepted that obesity is one of many factors that cause type 2 diabetes. But maybe we’ve misinterpreted the correlation here. Surgeon Peter Attia will explain below in his TED Talk why he thinks we may have been wrong about the link between diabetes and obesity.

Attia openly admits that he used to judge people who “let” themselves get diabetes, namely type 2 diabetics. When he worked in the ER, he had a patient whose foot needed to be amputated because her diabetic neuropathy had progressed to such a severe state.

While Attia says he did everything he could as a medical professional, as a human being he believes he failed this woman, because he refused to see her health predicament as anything but her own fault.

And then he, a robust young individual with a healthy lifestyle, was diagnosed as insulin resistant. That’s when he started wondering if we we’ve been wrong about how diabetes works all along.

Could obesity actually be a consequence of insulin resistance rather than a cause? Watch the video below to see why Attia thinks this is the case and how he believes we can reverse the symptoms of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

We challenge you not to cry as you listen to this poignant story.

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Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?