Peter Langmead's CSR

I suffer from Diabetes type 2. It is a self-inflicted non-infectious disease that is very common in Zambia and Africa, and increasingly around the world. This is my CSR page that explains how I manage this disease on a daily basis. If I do not manage it effectively, I suffer from tiredness and blurred vision, I get up several times a night, and my feet hurt. It also makes me susceptible to heart disease and pneumonia, and COVID-19. If you suffer from any of these, please see your doctor as soon as possible; I do not give any medical advice but I am a practising diabetic.

Otherwise, I am a Film Director, Screenwriter, Composer, Steadicam operator, Social Documentary Photographer. My latest film is The Borderline, released on December 4, 2019.

My CSR Project 1: Death by Sugar

I have diabetes (type 2) and so do many others in Zambia. Nshima is carbohydrate and little else. Zambia has a young population; many are living on nshima alone and suffer from diabetes at a young age. It gets little attention, perhaps because many more commonly die from HIV/AIDS or malaria, or complications with diabetes, but the disease is an increasing economic cost everywhere, and especially in USA, Europe and other countries where obesity is rife. This article is about how I manage my diabetes. I am not a medical doctor and I do not give medical advice.

Definitely, cake will kill you The world eats a mountain of refined sugar and carbohydrates, high percentages of populations are obese, from USA to even Africa, and diabetes is having an increasingly significant and negative impact on economies in many countries, including Zambia.

I have the disease moderately under control. I am writing this because there is misinformation about diabetes everywhere, including from doctors. Further, people are not aware of it. Even the NHS of the UK cannot get its story straight, the USA is even worse, and yet, consistent and sensible opinions can be found from sufferers. Private medicine always demonstrates conflict of interest, because it is the national interest, and not an individual’s interest, to keep a nation working and healthy.

If you look a bit fat, you are obese; if you look okay, you are already overweight, and if you look skinny, you are normal. If your bones stick out, you are maybe too thin. I managed to deal with sugar until I was about forty – beer, coke, sweets and chocolate were okay - but after that I put on weight. Diabetes type 2 kicked in when I was sixty. Many people are less fortunate.

I am on voluntary lockdown and I am not taking much exercise. My normal sugar level is below 7 mmol/L, millimoles per litre. I take my sugar level in the morning before breakfast because I have learned if my morning sugar level is higher, I might have misbehaved yesterday, which of course I know. I get anxious if it rises above 8 mmol/L. It will only do that if I have carbohydrates. It is not only COVID-19 that will kill you, pneumonia can have the same outcome.

It is easy to control sugar level, but many people cannot do it because they lack willpower, and that is all there is to it, and they are going to die, possibly soon, possibly without their feet. I cannot sympathise because it is easy to control, but there is no cheating. Fundamentally and essentially, you must have no sugar/carbohydrates, the doctor means it. ‘But I cannot live without bread’ means just that, you won't.

If you have diabetes, it means no sugar, no fruit juice, no white, brown or health bread, no potatoes, no chips, no rice, no nshima, no couscous, no pasta, no Coke, no Fanta, no beer, no wine, no beans, no peas, no lentils, no quinoa. You can eat eggs, cheese, meat, fish, vegetables, salad, butter, oil, cream. If you have diabetes, you could be dead soon, meds or no meds. Focus. Do not fret now about how bad butter or red meat is for you, do not eat it if you think so.

Next week, how I manage my diet.


Peter Langmead

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The Next Movie

The script is prepared for my next movie and pre-production is in progress. This is the most time-consuming part of filmmaking and production is expected to begin at the end of the year,