I'm the daughter of a type 2 diabetic who managed his health poorly and the wife of a type 1 diabetic who manages his health and his disease meticulously from minute-to-minute (and still gets thrown scary hypo- and hyperglycemic responses here and there). Diabetes is a shitty disease, and on this World Diabetes Day, I would like to see less of this:
...sigh. And this:
...and for fuck's sake, way less of this:
Diabetes is a punchline, but this disease is devastating for those who have it and for their families, bringing about scary low blood sugar incidents, lost toes and limbs, blindness, kidney failure and heart disease.
Our food system is broken, and the solution to the growing obesity and diabetes epidemic isn't more diabetes medications to counter the shitty food and drink we're guzzling down. We are chumps if we keep buying the garbage that these companies are selling, valuing profits over your health and the health of your family. But the truth is they're only making and selling what we're asking for.
Yes, chips, fries, sugary cereal, cake and soda are delicious, but what if we decided that these should be treats that we consume only occasionally instead of daily?
What if we only bought breads made with whole grain flours instead of the highly refined white flours stripped of their fiber and vitamins?
And what if we demanded coupons for fruit, or financial incentive programs for buying fresh produce instead of soda, chips and little donuts?
Imagine if there was less government subsidizing of corn, and it was no longer so cheap to make the corn syrup found in soda and snack cakes? And what if there were less subsidies for soybeans, keeping cheap soybean oil--the stuff present in partially hydrogenated form in crackers, cakes and cheap muffins--out of the food system?
I'm going to keep dreaming of this healthier food system and of a population who values their health over the quick pleasure of cheap, processed food. And I hope that in the not-too-distant future, we won't need World Diabetes Day.
Note: As a health coach, I don't diagnose or treat disease, but (often in partnership with my clients' doctors) I do help my clients implement diet and lifestyle changes. If you are ready to make real and lasting change in your diet to discover the healthiest version of you, let's talk!