Type 2 - Open Forum

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  • 1.  Policy and Advocacy we need your help

    Posted 30-07-2020 15:16

    An important part of what we do at Diabetes NSW and ACT is to advocate on behalf of people living with diabetes.  This is not always about diabetes!

    When someone is diagnosed with diabetes, they are diagnosed with more than a medical condition. There are many other hurdles and issues that they are faced with.  Some of these are unique to the person, but most are faced by many other people also living with diabetes.

    By bringing people together as a community, we want to be able to identify common problems and issues, and work to make changes in our community.

    Common areas are discrimination, access to services, education, insurance, and workplace issues.  We can work to resolve these issues on an individual level, but we can also collate the experiences and voices of our members to make a strong and loud argument to our Governments and agencies.

    Our ability to effectively advocate for changes depends on hearing your voice, so we want to invite you to share your experiences with us.  If there is a situation in your daily life where you face additional pressures, please let us know in this thread, and help us to shape change.

    Live Your Life Community Team
    Natasha & Erin

  • 2.  RE: Policy and Advocacy we need your help

    Posted 27-08-2020 16:52
    I suggest advocacy for improved food composition and manufacturing, food labelling and advertising to assist diabetics in making healthy nutritional choices to manage their diabetes.

    There needs to be a  shift in the way food manufacturers compose and manufacture our food. Dietitians often advise us to choose foods that are high fibre, low GI,  low in salt and saturated fats. Wholegrain carbohydrates are preferable. According  to Diabetes Australia, there are  about 1.7 million Australians living with diabetes (almost 453,000 live in NSW and ACT). The estimated  impact of diabetes  costs about $16.4 billion every year.  Surely, if food manufacturers were to compose food with wholesome ingredients and rely less on added sugar, salt and saturated fat, we would be able to shop easier and make better dietary choices. Should this occur, wouldn't the incidence of people developing diabetes through dietary causes reduced and the impact cost reduced thus freeing up money for spending on other health conditions?

    To go along with improved food composition, there should be better labelling of the nutritional values on food packages. Plus, education to assist the public in understanding what those values mean and how those values compare with the recommended standard. Take breakfast cereals for example, there are varying combinations of protein, fat, sugar, sodium and fibre content. For a diabetic, what is the maximum of each? Yet, on the package, there is no comparison with these maximums. Percentage of RDI is not helpful

    That brings me to advertising. There are way too many advertisements promoting foods that are high in fat, sugar and sodium. Even in the shops and supermarkets, such items are displayed right by the checkout. Something needs to be done to reduce the number of advertisements of unhealthy food items, and to promote heathy food choices.

    While this post is written with diabetics in mind, the initiatives would be beneficial to non-diabetics also. The spin off would be a population that is healthier nutritionally, and the impact cost of diabetes reduced over time.


  • 3.  RE: Policy and Advocacy we need your help

    Posted 28-08-2020 13:45
    It gets even worse when you throw food allergies into the mix. A lot of foods that are nutritionally beneficial for diabetics because they are low GI e.g. some pastas and high fibre breads, are not suitable for anyone with a wheat allergy or gluten intolerance. I know that Coeliac Australia has had to make many submissions over time to  ANZFS (Australian New Zealand Food Standards) in order for better food labelling to become more standardised and even then we are subject to the whims of companies who unexpectedly change ingredients or recipes.

  • 4.  RE: Policy and Advocacy we need your help

    Posted 31-08-2020 08:14
    I agree wholeheartedly Linden. I would like to have more details regarding the 'made from 75% Australian ingredients' listed on the packaging. Also menus in cafes and restaurants advise which meals are suitable for people with food allergies etc. but never for diabetics. And last, but not least, why do these foods cost more to buy at the supermarkets when in some cases they are a necessary part of staying healthy.


  • 5.  RE: Policy and Advocacy we need your help

    Posted 31-08-2020 12:21
    It would be a better world if restaurants could show you a nutritional breakdown of what's on their menu, or even if the menu showed "lower sugar", "lower fat", "no added sugar" etc, but restaurant owners would probably think this would be too hard, particularly if they had different chefs on duty on different days.
    The problem with supermarkets is that the moment you label a food as dealing with a health issue, the price automatically skyrockets. Case in point - I showed my sister the "gluten free" frozen chips in the GF freezer section of one of the major supermarkets, then the "normal" version from the same supplier. Same ingredients, smaller amount in the GF version but nearly 1.5 times the price.