Beloved actor Tom Hanks recently declared "I am an idiot" referring to how he caused his type 2 diabetes by allowing himself to gain weight. 

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To me that does not suggest someone lacks intelligence; after all two-thirds of all Americans are overweight. We are all at risk in a toxic environment where highly-palatable disease-promoting foods are lurking everywhere people gather.

In fact, I would suggest that Tom Hanks is pretty smart to recognize that lifestyle can play a role, and to commit to taking better care of himself. 

Now, peddling some expensive medication to treat a disease that is caused by the unhealthy Standard American Diet, is an entirely different story. Mr. Hanks - I urge you to do the right thing, and the smart thing if you care about your health and about helping others who have diabetes or are at risk of developing it. Resist the urge to accept a lucrative contract to promote the latest pharmaceutical intervention and instead adopt a whole food plant-based lifestyle. This is the one dietary approach that has been shown to not only reverse type 2 diabetes, as well as heart disease and some types of cancer, but has additional benefits of weight control and longer life.

My simple prescription for you:

  1. Watch Forks Over Knives.  (www.ForksOverKnives.com)
  2. To learn how to get started, watch the TEDx talk by Dr. Neal Barnard at www.PCRM.org/Diabetes
  3. Commit to a 21-day trial of the best dietary pattern (use the excellent, free program created by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine at www.21DayKickstart.org).
  4. Find a community of people committed to health to help you continue this powerful lifestyle. Here in southeastern Michigan, we have the Plant Based Nutrition Support Group (PBNSG.org). Lots of great resources are available online.

Don't settle for "managing" diabetes. Get at the underlying problem. It's not rocket science. Anyone can do it. 

Dr. Caroline Trapp

Caroline Trapp, DNP, ANP-BC, CDE, FAANP

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