Last night on ABC news, former director of the CDC and current ABC pontificator, Dr. Richard Besser reported that gastric bypass surgery reverses Type 2 Diabetes forever.
This morning on Good Morning America, the story replayed and then in commentary, to Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos, Dr. Besser bemoaned how health care insurance won’t pay for bariatric surgery. It is, after all, clearly a cure for Type 2 Diabetes.
He doesn’t credit his source for this revelation. His story begins, “Doctors have discovered something incredible. . .” Ah, those ambiguous “doctors.” And they all agree, eh? Mmm. As a hedge he slips in the modifier “may”: “Gastric bypass surgery may actually reverse type 2 diabetes almost instantly.” (What does that “may” modify — “almost instantly” or that surgery reverses diabetes?) He goes on to interview Dr. Phil Schauer, the Director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute for the Cleveland Clinic (no vested interest there) who tells us that the cure is not only instant, but permanent. “Before they leave the hospital, they will NEVER use insulin again.” Hmmmm. This is a miracle, indeed.
Dr. Besser goes on to explain that “how the procedure normalizes blood sugar remains unclear.” Then he speculates vaguely with Dr. Schauer about “incretins” and then “humanizes” the report (as journalists are supposed to do) with the story of Katy Wiley, and actual patient who once was a fat, diabetic train wreck and now claims to be “healthy, healthy, healthy!”
Diane Sawyer doesn’t tell us what Dr. Besser’s report is based on. She introduces it as important medical news springing from “something making headlines today.” I would guess that Dr. Besser is probably hanging his story on the statement issued by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) yesterday at the Second World Conference on Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes in NYC. Here’s a two-page executive summary. The recommendation for surgery as treatment begins at subpoint 1.5: Read the rest of this entry »