Diabetes testing

NHS ticks off UK media for getting 'cheese prevents Diabetes' story wrong

By: The Leader @theleaderspeaks
Published: Saturday, August 9, 2014 - 14:38 GMT Jump to Comments

"Most media outlets," including some stellar Fleet Street titles, have been ticked off by NHS Choices for getting a story on cheese "preventing" type2 Diabetes all wrong.

The real story goes something like this:

Saturated fat in cheese, yoghurt and other dairy products may protect against diabetes.

A study has found that people with higher levels of the types of saturated fatty acid found in dairy products are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

While saturated fat – found in butter, cheese and red meat – is generally considered unhealthy and linked to high levels of cholesterol and heart disease, as well as type 2 diabetes, researchers found that those people with higher levels of “odd-chain” fatty acids in their blood samples are less likely to develop T2 Diabetes. Odd-chain saturated fatty acids are more likely where diets are high in dairy products, cakes and cookies, nuts and seeds, and fruit and vegetables.

Overall, this study can only tell us that there is an association between the levels of these fatty acids and the risk of developing diabetes – it cannot prove they have a role in causing or preventing the condition.

The study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology "was not accurately reported by most media outlets," said NHS Choices.

Contrary to several reports, (NHS Choices mentioned the Mail Online, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent by name) the study did not prove that saturated fat from dairy products are not bad for health or that they “beat” diabetes. Nor did the study look at any other health outcomes related to dietary intake of dairy products. It only showed that people with a one-off reading of a higher proportion of these types of fats compared to other saturated fats had a reduced risk of developing diabetes. 

We should welcome this clarfification while upbraiding NHS Choices for the use of the vile Americanism "cookies". 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Information Daily, its parent company or any associated businesses.

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