Posters in pizzerias could help diabetes prevention…

Filed in: General News

April 25, 2012

In two previous postings I have mooted  the use of demographic classification as a means of unlocking meaning from confidential health data. Later I hope to do further postings refining these issues but this morning I noticed that, one of our clients, the York Health Economics Consortium have produces a report on the future costs of diabetes to the NHS. The Independent’s report says Diabetes ‘to cost sixth of NHS budget’.

I thought it worth revisiting my earlier post Visualising lifestyles that lead to poor coronary health and seeing what the results were for diabetes. Using exactly the same technique, I found a correlation between the percentage of households that buy pizza frequently[1] and directly standardised rates of male diabetes[2].  I got a correlation of 0.58. Here is the graph.

The Directly Standardised Rates (DSRs) do not represent the geographical incidence of diabetes but the lifestyles that are likely to lead to diabetes.  This is because the processing from the North West Public Health Observatory[3] took out the effects of age.

This does not prove a causal link between pizza eating and diabetes [4] but the Mayo Clinic have an article warning caution: With diabetes, eating pizza not always a treat.  Perhaps one message today is to those running public health campaigns: place your posters and leaflets on dietary advice in pizza shops. That’s where you will find people that will burden the future NHS.

Posted by Geoff Beacon, Chairman at Beacon Dodsworth.

[1]    Using the Target Group Index from Kantar

[2]             From work we did with the North West Public Health Observatory

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