Dr James Muecke, Australian of the Year 2020 and passionate advocate for type 2 diabetes prevention, has shared a positive exchange of ideas at a recent meeting with Federal Health Minister Mark Butler.
In a post on Linkedin, Muecke said he presented his prevention strategy to Butler, who took his key messages on board and “asked excellent questions”.
“I highlighted the horrifying statistics related to type 2 diabetes in Australia, its life-destroying consequences, and its immense cost to the taxpayer,” Muecke said.
“I reinforced the prime dietary drivers of metabolic dysfunction being sugar, refined carbs, seed oils and ultra-processed ‘foods’. I explained to him there’s no evidence to link natural saturated fats in our food to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.”
Muecke said he explained to Butler that Australia’s current dietary guidelines are flawed and biased by industry and that health professionals should be able to question them publicly without fear of recrimination.
The pair also discussed Muecke’s action strategy to reverse Australia’s chronic disease epidemic, which includes:
– Ensuring an unbiased review of the Australian Dietary Guidelines
– Stopping the predatory sales and marketing strategies of sugary drink, ultra-processed ‘food’ and fast food industries
– Banning ads for unhealthy consumables, aimed at children, on television and social media
– Removing the subsidies and tax breaks that incentivise the sugary drink and ultra-processed food industries to market their unhealthy products
– Providing subsidised access for patients to nutritionists, dietitians, exercise physiologists etc
– Providing free CGMs (continuous glucose monitoring) to patients with type 2 diabetes
– Providing medical students with an unbiased training in nutrition science
– Providing GPs with the time, remuneration, and appropriate resources to explore dietary options for type 2 diabetes with their patients
– Subsidising real food for patients with type 2 diabetes, especially in lower socio-economic areas
Muecke said he will follow up with Butler in coming weeks.