It’s NOT Type 2 diabetes, it’s “walking deficiency syndrome,” says doctor
02/05/2019 // Frances Bloomfield // Views

According to one medical practitioner, Type 2 diabetes is anything but. Sir Muir Gray, an Honorary Professor at Oxford University, asserts that it should be renamed “walking deficiency syndrome”, reports Daily Mail.

Gray, a pioneer of breast and cervical screening, has promoted exercise and social remedies as means to repel a number of diseases. Among these is Type 2 diabetes, a condition Gray doesn't consider “a real illness”. He views it more as a self-inflicted condition than anything else, the result of a sedentary lifestyle with little to no physical activity.

"I wrote about this and somebody wrote back and said it was called a metabolic syndrome. I said I don't believe in metabolic syndromes," stated Gray at the Oxford Literary Festival. "The problem with calling it Type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome makes you think it's like rheumatoid arthritis or a real disease. These are conditions caused by the modern environment."

Gray has extensively researched on how inactivity greatly contributes to the risk of disease. He believes that doing simple activities could help one live a healthier and longer life. While watching television, Gray suggests that you “always keep the remote control far away from you. Always stand during advertisements on one leg. Never sit down for the weather.” For older people, Gray suggest standing when traveling.

Others have criticized Gray for his claims. Among them is Dr. Stephen Lawrence, Clinical Lead for Diabetes for the Royal College of General Practitioners and Principal Teaching Fellow in Diabetes at Warwick University. Of Gray's assertions, Lawrence has said that, “Type 2 diabetes is primarily caused by lifestyle factors, but it is associated with other demographic and genetic factors as well -- to say it isn't a real disease is unhelpful, and will only serve to stigmatize those patients who have it.”

Lawrence goes on to add, "We know that making simple lifestyle changes, including being more active and taking steps to lose weight can have real benefits for patients with Type 2 diabetes – but we need to be encouraging patients to do this, not blaming them for having the condition, which could be counter-productive in inspiring lifestyle change."

Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum and Action on Sugar also has some choice words for Gray. “I think Muir Gray is going too far. Diabetes is a disease, you don't spend a billion pounds on a drug if it's not a disease. The real problem with changing its name is it is mixed messages. We are tuned to diabetes 1 and diabetes 2. Not 'sleepy walky syndrome' or whatever it is he wants to call it," he said, according to an article uploaded to Press Reader.

Walking is shown to lower one's risk of diabetes. Researchers at Cambridge University claim that inactivity is as deadly as smoking, and is even more dangerous than obesity. Those who lead inactive lifestyles are more prone to largely preventable diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and dementia, researchers say.

Gray was knighted in 2005 for his work in fetal, maternal, and child screening programs, in addition to creating the National Library for Health. He has also written a number of books covering the topic of healthcare, including one entitled Midlife: Look Younger, Live Longer and Look Better.

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