There are some startling conclusions being drawn about
fluoridation and its effect on type 2, but none from reputable
Researching something you want to know more about, using the
internet, can be confusing.
Finding the right information that has evidence and research to
back up its conclusions is often difficult. Anyone can upload a
report on the web without peer review and often it is opinion, not
fact or evidence based.
Let's look at an example: Recently an article was sent to
Diabetes Queensland in relation to fluoridation and the effects on
type 2 diabetes.
This article suggested that Queensland did not have a high rate
of diabetes until fluoridation was introduced in 2008. The only
shire that had fluoridation at this time was Townsville.
The article concluded that Townsville had a high rate of type 2
diabetes so it must be from fluoridation.
Could fluoridation be the problem?
Canberra has had fluoridation since 1964. Canberra has the
lowest rate of type 2 diabetes in Australia. Thus, there must be
other reasons why some areas have higher rates of type 2 diabetes
Looking more closely at the article and researching the
suggested reason, fluoride, and other factors which increase the
risk of developing type 2 diabetes, was important in evaluating the
Other factors which increase the risk of developing type 2
diabetes in an area is access to health care, quality fresh foods,
family history, age, gender and waist circumference.
Socio-economic status, the amount of financial independence
people in the community enjoy, is also a risk factor. The northern
beaches of Sydney have the highest rate of financial independence
in Australia. The area also has the state's lowest rates of type 2
Other risk factors include your ethnicity. People of Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander, Asian, African and Middle Eastern
backgrounds have an increased risk of developing type 2
There are many variables the fluoride article did not take into
To find out if information is reliable, check where it has come
Sites such as Queensland Health, the Federal Department of
Health, the National Health and Medical Research Council, the World
Health Organisation, International Diabetes Federation and our
National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) are all examples of great
sources of information.
For example, the National Health and Medical Research Council,
when developing a report, will look through a large number of
articles, sometimes in the thousands, and then weighs the
evidential strength of the information before it publishes
Be a super sleuth when you read an article if the information
concerns you. Here is the
Qld Health fact sheet on fluoridation.
For any issue that affects your health, look at where it came
from, who wrote it, and what evidence it brings to the story. This
lens over what you read will help you to sort the fact from
If you are ever unsure, let us know so we can super sleuth
together. Diabetes Queensland strives to bring you only credible
information. Ring 1300 136 588.