Letter of the Week: Teenage Weight Loss and Insulin Omission

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Dear Diabetes Health,

I appreciated Jamie Bailes’ (April/May 2008) article on helping overweight kids. To me, it illustrated the complexity of weight regulation and the folly of linking it to one factor (fat).

However, I found the article misleading in implying that insulin (not insulin imbalance) is the main cause of weight gain, in comparing type 1 diabetes with type 2, and in stating that girls with type 1 diabetes “know that insulin causes them to gain weight.”

Is there any evidence that type 1 diabetics have more obesity than nondiabetics or that insulin causes them to gain excess weight?

My teenage daughter attempted weight loss by insulin omission; and besides being dangerous, it was not effective for weight loss. She was overtaken by DKA before she could lose many pounds, and the experience of starving led her to develop a binge eating compulsion that made weight and health maintenance a nightmare. Ironically, she actually did lose some weight while eating a conventional diet and taking insulin while living at an eating disorder center.

Sincerely,

Jo Ann Bennett
Snohomish, WA

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