Diabetes On the Rampage in Barbados

Why is diabetes on the rise in Barbados?

Is it the type of food we consume?

Is it the lack of exercise?

Is it the type of food AND lack of exercise?

40 thoughts on “Diabetes On the Rampage in Barbados

  1. This is the kinds of problems a population would never solve as long as it has a ‘government’.

    Indeed, if the people were ruling themselves diabetes in Barbados would have long been a thing of the past.

    And should we be unable to CURE this problem within a generation, we should forget about inter-planetary travel, mastering AI if we should, fixing climate change, feeding ourselves, or anything else.

    Only African populations which eat western diets are plagued with such levels of diabetes mellitus, We have long known this, yet we persist. African populations whose staples do not include ‘wheat’ never have a high incident of mellitus.

    • The irony is that we have to struggle with a healthcare expenditure that will continue to grow because of our inability to disrupt lifestyle behaviours.

  2. Pachamama at 5:20 AM

    You may be right; but it will take some time to change diets that contain wheat flour . Bread and other wheat based foods are more convenient,and cheaper per calorie’. Compare the cost of one pound of so called complex carbohydrate foods with the cost of one pound of wheat flour. Often you cannot even find them in the markets and even then fhey rot within a few days of purchase.

  3. Dr. Georgie Porgie posted a lot of useful information about diabetes in the Medical Corner on BU.

    At least BU bloggers have the information to help them make healthy lifestyle choices.

  4. Nevertheless, we must continue research into the causes of Diabetes Mellitus. It cannot only be genetic predisposition and diet.

  5. Diabetes is partly genetic. My grandmother, a skinny little red woman who lived in the country and ate ground foods died of diabetes in 1957.

    That said our diets have become a lot worse over the last 50 years, We eat and drink too much refined sugar sugar and flour. We need to shut down the sweet drink and rum factories. We drive too much and we do not walk enough.

    But yes we want to spend millions building flyovers and not a cent to build sidewalks. There should be sidewalks connecting our homes to the neighbouring workplaces, shops, schools, churches etc. if the journey is up to a mile we should be able to walk safely there during the day and at night, so adequate street lighting would be a plus too, and for our safety more cops walking the beat.

    But these things are not expensive nor sexy. No big profits in these things for the money hungry men and women who run things ’bout here, that is the political class and their corporate sponsors.

  6. Bernard

    That is what is wrong with us – there must always be ‘research’ into foolishness

    We have told you that the research has been done and that other African populations without ‘wheat’ as a staple do not have any significant incidence of diabetes mellitus. But still more research, you call for.

    Barbados is already the amputation capital of the world, per capita.

    This writer is a trained researcher, should we, as you seem to be suggesting, must wait for other people, over and away, to pay for this ‘research’ to help us, save our people’s lives?

    Do you really understand how those medical, biotech, companies work. They only care about money. They could careless who lives or dies for lack of. And your naivete is not attractive to them at all.

    This is a national problem that we can cure ourselves. And we have the means so to do already!

  7. I agree with Simple Simon…. if our governments had invested in sidewalks, bike lanes, walk-paths, recreational facilities, etc. …. that made it easier and SAFER to walk to the store, school, work, & so on, we would have a healthier population & probably less chronic diseases causing pressure on our healthcare system.

    School just re-opened, notice the 100% increase in traffic??? Ask yourself, how many children ride or walk to school?? Why are bicycles not duty-free??

    If these basic incentives & facilities were in-place, more of our population would gravitate to using them …. look at the popularity of the Boardwalk! But then, look at those who represent us in Parliament …. not a very fit looking bunch! Quite a few entered the House real skinny but now are over-weight & blown-up like balloons!

  8. PS this thing about diabetes being genetic is a lie.

    Very few ‘diseases’ are really genetic.

    Most times you have families eating shiite for generations, or impacted by environmental factors, and we cry out ‘genetics’.

    Western medicine says that when it has no answer OR doesn’t want to have an answer.

  9. ” While the rate of diabetes remains comparatively low in Africa, the number of people living with diabetes has jumped from 4 million in 1980, to 25 million in 2014….Since diabetes is a lifestyle disease, an increase in the disease could be a symptom of growing prosperity, as people are able to afford more processed foods. It’s also a sign of a more sedentary lifestyle as more people spend their working days sitting down.. ”


  10. Not to worry people, the government is working on a simple way of getting the population to get more exercise and thereby eliminate diabetes.

    Phase 1: Allow the road surfaces to deteriorate until they reach a condition where it is almost impossible to maintain a vehicle in good repair.
    Phase 2: Meanwhile let the public transportation stock slide into a state of immobility through lack of maintenance.
    Phase 3: Through a very clever maneuver named NSRL, the cost of private transportation rises beyond the ability of the average citizen to replace damaged vehicles.
    Phase 4: Constantly raise the price of automobile fuel so that the astronomical price prohibits acquisition of fuel for the few remaining vehicles on the road (even as world crude prices drop).

    Presto! Our caring government is able to cleverly “motivate” Barbadians to walk a little more thus saving millions of dollars in health care and more importantly saving Barbadian lives in the process.

    I feel compelled to return them to power next election even as a named minister is alleged to have taken steps to cope with the minor inconvenience of the pot hole menace by purchasing a $250,00 Ranger Rove.

  11. Hants
    I suspect the percentage of people with diabetes or are prone to diabetes is much higher. All patients attending the hospital, clinics or private doctors should have compulsory diabetes and blood pressure tests.
    We also ought to look t our lifestyles; massive piles of food on a plate, lack of exercise, drinking too much alcohol, eating too much sweet bread and driving everywhere do not help.

  12. I agree Hal. Lifestyle is a big part of the problem.

    Barbados has so many fast food places to eat. Supermarket deli counters sell rice and peas, fried chicken and macaroni pie as does vendors in vans.

    Then there is barbecued pig tails. Endless fat.

  13. “If the government had invested in sidewalks, bike lanes…”

    There is a reflexive impulse by too many people on BU to blame the government for everything.

    The reason people use cars is as much to demonstrate their status, avoid profuse sweating, and avoid contact with the smelly lower classes as it is to get from Point A to Point B.

    You want exercise, go swim in the sea. It’s nearby.

    You want to go for a walk, there are plenty of country lanes with only moderate traffic, especially at night or very early in the morning.

    The bottom line is that people are lazy, like to spend their time watching TV and fiddling with or speaking on their cell phones.

  14. Two years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes,my father was type 1. I joined the diabetic association.

    I totally re-organised my eating and drinking habits,lost 20 pounds by virtue of walking and have it now under control.

    Overseas one has a greater and cheaper choice of foods for diabetics,in Bim I use lots of okra&spinach that I grow for my meals,which I cook and make my own desserts as well.

  15. Some black people are genetically susceptible to diabetes, I have a friend from a rural village in Ghana who lost her mother to diabetes. The mother’s diet was relatively simple sans high fat,high sugar and she walked everywhere. That said we do ourselves no favors when we maintain diets with high concentration of sugar and fat and live a sedentary lifestyle.

  16. The most these small island nations can do is to educated the populace and most importantly starting with an early educational program in schools
    The adults for the most part going to do whatever they dam please until they have no other alternative after being diagnose with the disease

  17. @ Pachamama

    I do not know where you got the notion that I expect Barbadians to depend on foreign medical scientists to do research on a Barbadian medical epidemic. A cursory reading of the interventions on this blog ,personal observations and experience should suggest that more research needs to be done to establish SCIENTIFICALLY the cause of the high incidence of diabetes mellitus in Barbados. In science there is no last word. Science is always a work in progress.

  18. For Chad99999 @12:51PM….

    My friend, most bajans can’t swim ……. & wuh country lanes with moderate traffic you talking ’bout? Lol! Try it & see if you last a week without being side-swipped by some motorist in a hurry! While re-reading my note above, I confess that sidewalks were in fact laid down for us, in one instance …. check the Gap! Unfortunately, they are used for parking by taxis, private cars, food vans, and delivery vehicles …. so pedestrians must walk in the road!!

  19. For now the policy(s) is on the back burner….let de peeple do what ever they want, once dey elect we again!!!

  20. Bernard

    Let us agree to disagree. Whereas you are willing to have a singular reliance of ‘science’, we are not. And this is a trained scientist talking you. For ‘science’ is not unhinged from pernicious social forces.

    We would prefer a much wider and more sophisticated framework, or sets of frameworks, on which to make judgements. For us science can never be the end all.

    In the case of the subject at hand we can rely on traditional practices, oral traditions, alternative modalities, what is happening outside of big pharma and its relationships with other corporations and so on. This has to be the proper context.

    Of course if we can have a master narrative combining all of these that would represent the best of all worlds. Integrative medicine.

    However, in circumstances where big pharma deliberately withhold remedies, where science encourages the food industry to poison us, when science itself maybe overwhelmingly clear about causation but refuses to implement simple remedies where no money will be made, and when the drug patent architecture control the powers that be to have them extended for decades sometimes, we would be hand pressed to maintain a singularity of vision even when there is good science – peer reviewed, double blind, etc

    We must also mention that a reliance on science alone could not prevent the recent deaths of patients taking a hear medication or blood thinner when one onion a day, raw, would have done the same job. But as much as 500 thousand people died because of science.

    In the USA we have tens of thousands (130,000) of people dying every year because of medical error, prescription drugs. The documentary, Death By Medicine, deals with this. Indeed, medical error is the leading cause of death in America although the ‘science’ does not so account.

  21. The fact that something as basic and straightforward as ‘lifestyle habits’ is able to impose such a drastic death sentence on a society is no coincidence….

    Here we have a situation where growing percentages of a so-called ‘educated’ society continues to sacrifice their most valuable earthly attribute (health)…to pain, misery, invalidity, unhappiness, expense and death, by the absolutely BASIC and KNOWN folly of eating and drinking SHIITE (which was excreted by albino-centric corporations with the SOLE intent of accumulating money), …and by not exercising – and then subjecting themselves to additional exploitation by a medical industry that is EXACTLY the same…..

    If we were not presented frontally with this scenario – in EVERY community, AT ALL levels, and in wide jurisdictions,


    Consider that this is an EXACT mirror of our spiritual diet and its consequences.

    HERE… we have a situation where growing percentages of all so-called ‘educated’ societies continue to sacrifice their most valuable earthly attribute (the unprecedented opportunity to qualify for TRUE SPIRITUAL LIFE) …. in exchange for albino-centric idiocy that has again and again DEMONSTRATED that its only rewards are damnation, danger, distress and death.

    In the face of these ‘in-your-face’ examples of being ON THE WRONG TRACK,….’beings’ that continue to persist with the SAME destructive ‘diets and habits’ ….can only be described as a Bunch of Black, Brawling, Bewitched, Bankrupt, Bajan Brass Bowl Bums….

    ….ent it??!

    @ Dribbler
    ….Give Bushie an adequate alternative terminology for this…. 🙂

  22. I would like to see Pacha’s list of the remedies “big pharma” is withholding. I’m sure it’s a very short list.

    Given the choice between a pill and eating an entire onion raw, every day, I think I’d prefer the pill. In fact, if I went with the onions, I’d lose all my girlfriends very quickly. Then I’d have another problem.

  23. lucky mcdonalds closed or the most often heard phraze in barbados would be ….up-size me ….rather than….. do you want a taxi

  24. Pachamama at 5:52 AM

    You are setting up your own straw men and then knocking them down. Not even my grandmother ,whom I loved dearly, could put words in my mouth and expect me to say them..

    I am sorry; but I am NOT a member of the Conspiracy Club.

    • @Hants

      The message from the Haloutes is that the entity employs 850 Bajans. It does not matter than it is partly responsible for feeding an unhealthy lifestyle numbering in the thousands . Truth be told we are a nation of JAs and deserve the title of the NCD capital of the world.

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