Impact of improved lifestyle on management of chronic disease - can Type 2 Diabetes be reversed?

Impact of improved lifestyle on management of chronic disease - can Type 2 Diabetes be reversed?

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A joint presentation by a health care actuary at one of South Africa's leading managed care companies, Medscheme, and a high profile scientist, clinician, professor, sportsman and acclaimed author, Prof Tim Noakes.

The low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, often referred to as the "Tim Noakes", "Banting" or LCHF diet in South Africa, has gained considerable popularity in the country since 2010.

Professor Timothy Noakes has been criticised as aggressively promoting this diet as a ‘revolution’, making outrageous unproven claims about disease prevention, and maligning the integrity and credibility of peers who criticise his diet for being evidence-deficient and not conforming to the tenets of good and responsible science.

Noakes maintains that his public message has been misrepresented, which is simply the following: "a high carbohydrate diet is detrimental to the health of persons with insulin resistance whereas carbohydrate restriction in this group can be profoundly beneficial as it can reverse obesity and in some cases Type 2 diabetes mellitus, the two conditions that will ultimately bankrupt South African medical services unless we take appropriate preventive actions."

Medscheme's Active Disease Management and Integrated Chronic Care Management programmes aim to improve lifestyle and management of chronic conditions. The range of services we provide gives rise to a wealth of data on chronic disease management and we are seeing members who are moving to Dormant status, ie no longer collecting their chronic medicine.

In this presentation we consider the evidence for reversal of chronic diseases from an actuarial and a clinical perspective and consider the potential implications for morbidity and mortality locally and globally.

The presentation will be of relevance to actuaries working in health care as well as life insurance.

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