Sunday, September 2, 2012

Brief review of some books about diabetes

I have read quite a few books but have returned some of them to the library already, this is not meant as a comprehensive review of the literature. Just some thoughts.

Prediabetes for Dummies (already returned so I don't have publishing details handy)
I hate hate hate the title of this book -- part of a big franchise of "for Dummies" books -- and would never have bought it just because of that. But it didn't seem to be geared to dummies at all. It had plenty of comprehensive information about prediabetes and in fact was one of the very few I could find that was about prediabetes rather than diabetes. Written by a medical professional and strongly pushing the "lose weight and exercise" message, it also went into detail about what is happening in the prediabetic body. Recommended.

Various CSIRO books about Diabetes (already returned)
CSIRO stands for ... um ... something or other, anyway they are Australian science boffins. I tried their diet last year or the year before (it was a best seller) and wrote about it here in the blog. The books with the word "diabetes" on the cover had some information about diabetes but mainly just pushed their diet. Lots of recipes and glossy pictures of happy healthy people. An attractive couple of books but didn't have any depth of information so not really what I was looking for.

The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes by Gretchen Becker
Marlowe & Company: 2004
This book is written by someone with diabetes rather than a doctor or scientist, and I loved it. A very easy to read, chatty and informal style from someone who has been through it all; but with lots of detailed information too. As well as the physical aspects, she talks about emotional aspects like depression and having to watch other people eat cake. There were some "facts" there that I hadn't seen elsewhere (therefore unsubstantiated and under suspicion but still interesting). It had its faults, in particular she talks about lots of different studies but doesn't reference them in the text, so you don't know which of the studies in the Resources chapter she is referring to. On the other hand, she seems to give a very balanced approach to different arguments, saying that no one size fits all and every situation is different. Recommended.

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