Type 2, fluoride and getting to the truth of an issue

There are some startling conclusions being drawn about fluoridation and its effect on type 2, but none from reputable sources.

Using the internet to research something you want to know more about 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 than others.

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 article.

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 diabetes.

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 diabetes.

There are many variables the fluoride article did not take into account.

To find out if information is reliable, check where it has come from.

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 it.

Be a super sleuth when you read an article if the information concerns you. Queensland Health has some information on their website.

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 fiction.

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.

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