Sugar Nation: The Hidden Truth Behind America’s Deadliest Habit and the Simple Way to Beat It by Jeff O’Connell
(Hyperion, 2010, 303 pages)
This book documents a personal journey on learning about type 2 diabetes and counterattacking the disease. The author chose a catchy title, understandably. It offers sufficient coverage on sugar and sugar consumption in America. How many pounds of sugar are consumed per person per year? You don’t want to know. It’s a scary number. I have to admit, this book wasn’t the best choice with Thanksgiving right around the corner.
Jeff O’Connell previously served as executive writer at Men’s Health. He’s tall, lean, and fit. After he learned that his estranged father had lost a leg to diabetes, he went for a physical and was stunned to find out that he is prediabetic. At the end of this eighteen-month journey, the author was able to reverse this serious diagnosis with diet and exercise. The book is full of practical advice and recommendations from the author and some of the best doctors in the country.
What I like most about this book are the facts, statistics, and well-researched medical history. In 1898, Doctor Elliott Joslin founded America’s first diabetes clinic in his parents’ Boston town house at 81 Bay State Road. You can still visit it today. In January 1922, a fourteen-year-old boy named Leonard Thompson received the first shot of insulin. The Canadian scientist, Frederick Banting, won a Nobel Prize for his discovery of insulin. This book is recommended for anyone who wants to learn about type 2 diabetes or who enjoys medical/science history. Oh – don’t read it before the holidays ;-).