BBC 6 minute English-Diabetes

BBC 6 minute English-Diabetes

BBC 6 minute English-Diabetes


Transcript of the podcast

Note: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Alice: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m Alice

Neil: … And I’m Neil. Can you pass me my drink, Alice

Alice: Cola, Neil? That’s very unhealthy

Neil: You told me to stop drinking coffee because it’s unhealthy – now you’re telling me cola is bad too

Alice: Cola is full of sugar. There are about six teaspoons in each can

Neil: At least. That’s pretty sugary, I admit

Alice: Well, we’re talking about diabetes today. Diabetes is a condition where the body can’t control the amount of glucose – or sugar – in the blood. If left untreated, diabetes can cause many complications, including heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and blindness

Neil: I’m not diabetic, though, Alice, so what’s the problem

Alice: Well, diabetes is on the rise – or increasing – all over the world. And particularly type 2 diabetes where risk factors include obesity – or being very overweight – unhealthy diet and lack of physical exercise

Neil: I see. Well, while I think about that, maybe you could ask me today’s quiz question

Alice: OK. Can you tell me how many people in the world suffer from diabetes? Is it

a) 4.15 million

b) 41.5 million?Or

c) 415 million

Neil: I’ll take a guess and say b) 41.5 million

Alice: Well, we’ll find out if you got the right answer later on, Neil. Now, why do you think people are eating less healthily than they used to

Neil: Well, processed food has become very popular, and whilst it often tastes really good, it isn’t always a healthy choice

Alice: Do you eat a lot of processed food, Neil

Neil: Of course not, Alice! Processed food, by the way, is food that’s been changed from its natural state, for example, by freezing or re-hydrating it, or by adding ingredients to it such as sugar, salt or fat. But let’s move on now and talk about exercise

Alice: OK – but I hope you aren’t planning to have fried chicken again for lunch today from that dodgy fast-food joint round the corner. Now, one reason that people are taking less exercise than they used to is because of lifestyle changes. With increasing urbanisation people are no longer doing jobs that involve as much physical activity

Neil: Yes, it’s true. And urbanisation means the growth of towns and cities as people move there from the countryside to live and work. We’re all sitting in cars, and offices, or on our sofas in front of the TV

Alice: But it’s also true that children are less active than they used to be. I remember running around all the time outdoors when I was a kid. Nowadays, they’re all in front of screens, playing computer games or watching videos on YouTube

Neil: So, adults and children are at higher risk of developing diabetes if they are overweight because they are likely to have higher levels of sugar in their blood. Let’s hear more about this from Dr Etienne Krug from the World Health Organization

INSERT Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the World Health Organization

Diabetes is a kind of continuum. Gradually the levels of sugar in the blood increase until reaching the level of being diagnosed with diabetes. But people, before reaching diabetes, have too high level of sugar as well, sometimes, and that can be dangerous too – particularly causing cardiovascular diseases, which contributes to mortality too

Neil: What’s a continuum, Alice

Alice: It’s something that changes slowly over time. So in this case, as people increasingly eat food that’s high in sugar and fat, the amount of sugar in their blood increases

Neil: And having a high blood-sugar level may reach a tipping point – or a point when small changes become significant enough to cause a big change – and you develop diabetes. But even if you don’t develop diabetes, high blood sugar can be damaging to your health

Alice: It isn’t only damaging to the individual, though. Diabetes has a huge cost to society – $۸۲۷bn is currently being spent every year to treat the disease

Neil: That’s big bucks! What can we do – what can governments do – to tackle this health crisis, Alice

Alice: Well, a key approach is to tackle the global rise in obesity because this addresses not only diabetes but other diseases, too, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Let’s hear more from Dr Krug about ways to do this

INSERT Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the World Health Organization

We need a combination of approaches to promote physical activity and to improve the ways we eat and that goes from breast feeding or even working with young kids to increase healthy eating. But the sugar tax is a good example that has contributed in Mexico to a decrease in sales of sugary drinks. And sugary drinks – just one drink can sometimes represent more sugar than a person needs for the whole day

Neil: Government schemes to encourage healthy eating sound like a good plan, but trying to get kids to eat vegetables might be tough

Alice: Or stop you from drinking sugary drinks, Neil, for that matter

Neil: Leave me alone

Alice: Alright, then. But the government tax on sugary drinks has worked in Mexico – and the UK government is also planning to do this. OK – now remember I asked you, Neil: How many people in the world suffer from diabetes? Is it

a) 4.15 million

b) 41.5 million? Or

c) 415 million

Neil: And I said 41.5 million

Alice: Sorry, that’s the wrong answer, Neil

Neil: Of course it’s the wrong answer

Alice: Yes, I’m afraid so. According to the Diabetes International Federation, based in Belgium, as of 2015, an estimated 415 million people have diabetes worldwide. This represents 8.3% of the adult population, with equal rates in both women and men

Neil: OK, I’ll be drinking herbal tea from now on. Let’s listen to the words we learned today. They were

diabetes glucose on the rise obesity processed food urbanisation continuum tipping point

Neil: Well, that’s the end of today’s 6 Minute English. Please join us again soon

Both: Bye

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