I am a Type 1 diabetic (adult onset), and the son of a Type 1 diabetic. When I was growing up, all the medical community knew about was sugar. My father followed their advice and avoided sugar like the plague, not knowing, of course, that the advice was wrong. Today, we know that Type 1 diabetics CAN consume sugar in moderation, as part of a healthy diet in which they count carbs and balance their carb intake with their insulin dosage. So, for Type 1 diabetics, sugar is no longer the source of all evil.
However, sugar is still a carbohydrate with no nutritive value, and if you’re a Type 1 diabetic watching your carbs, you should still be limiting your sugar intake, and getting your carbs from nutritive sources like vegetables and whole grains. So, as far as Type 1 is concerned, the statement: “What is the evidence that sugar itself has anything to do with diabetes? There is no evidence, it is disingenuous and misleading. Sure, sugar doesn’t CAUSE Type 1, but it certainly has something to do with it (if it didn’t, I’d be living on the stuff, believe me!). As far as Type 2 is concerned, the evidence linking it with obesity continues to mount, and the ADA acknowledges the obesity problem.
However, in this interview, Kahn played fast and loose on obesity and sugar, refusing to acknowledge that sugar in general, and sugared soft drinks in particular, contribute to obesity, especially in children. If you read the full interview, you’ll see that Kahn falls back repeatedly on the “calories are calories” argument, which flies in the face of nutrition and common sense. We know about the dangers of saturated fats. We know about the dangers of empty carbs. Kahn’s slippery comments are as troubling as the fact that the ADA is taking money from candy companies. If this is how the “experts” deal with diabetes and obesity, it’s no wonder we have a Type 2 epidemic in this country.