How the Media RUINS People's Perceptions About our Diabetes

So, I got the Diabetic Living Newsletter this week, in my inbox for their newest magazine, or articles, or whatever… And I really don’t get it. I really don’t, because we know so much about Diabetes these days, yet we are still talking down to people about “table sugar,” as if we were in 1985. Yes, their top two articles are: “The Best Low-Sugar Foods,” and “Our Best Low-Sugar Desserts”… And… not only do I find it wrong to focus on things like “low sugar,” because it’s NOT sugar that causes our Diabetic issues and complications… but telling people that multi grain eggo waffles, and juice, are okay choices because they are “low sugar,” and “light,” seems pretty counterproductive to me… :confused: Did we knock ourselves over the head and forget to carb count, and teach people how to carb count??? Why are we teaching people to focus on sugar? This is the kind of thing we want to fight! People’s ignorance that they think we can’t have sugar, or should avoid sugar… :confused: While I know that some of these “low sugar” foods are not as high in carbs as they were before, they are STILL high in carbs after the sugar is removed, and we still NEED to tell people that they need to focus on the carb count… NOT the sugar count. People just can’t tell the difference, and it helps them live in ignorance thinking all they have to worry about is total sugars, and not carbohydrates! Sigh…

These are the people who are supposed to be on our side... :(

Have you written them a letter/email to suggest some changes? It sounds like you have some very valid points that you could help with educating. I’m not sure why anyone who gets diagnosed isn’t told about carb counting but for some reason it doesn’t seem to be that common? I am always shocked when someone I know is now taking meds of some type (usually a t2) and no one mentions carb counting at all? Actually one person I know was just told by her doctor how dangerous it is!!! So there’s the answer, it’s starts in the doctor’s office and keeps going on in publications and such. Sad but true.

I am waiting until I’m not as angry, Lisa. lol I’m not a good letter writer when I am highly pissed at the world. hehe

Geez. That is weird. Carbs are totally what you’re supposed to read labels for.

I’ve just taken on a job doing some social media work for a diabetic friendly, celiac friendly no sugar product.
The very first thing I had to do was explain why we are not concerned about ‘sugar’ but rather carbs.
I have had well-meaning dear neighbors buy me sugar free candy (which bothers my stomach) and tell me I should never be eating any sugar. Usually it’s the more elderly folks, however not always.
It’s too bad we can’t get the message out better, especially to the media.

What is interesting Liz Marie is that the whole movement of “Web Sense” is not taken into account or researched very much. Sites such as TU and Diabetes Daily give a person so much more knowledge about their condition and information on eating than reading any publication or TV programs like D Life. I was glad to see some academics this spring doing some research on this site.

As time goes more publications will not be around. Time Magazine, News-week, and so on all have dismal circulation as more and more media is on the web. This may change things in the future as more is learned at the grass roots level.

Problem is they are online, and this was their e-newsletter… so they have more opportunity to spread the misinformation and miseducation even more… :confused:

Back in the “Dark Ages” When I took Type ! that’s all ppl talked about was sugar and calories. Now the diabetic community talks of carbs. Sometimes it just takes a mountian to move a mole hill and the way the press looks at diabetes (my g-mother included in this) is you can’t have sugar. Their not thinking about the carbs we have to deal with. Sad to say but true! I know we need to get more focus on the carbs but many ppl still think of “sugar diabetes” when you say diabetes.

So true Doris that was the dark ages but some ppl still live there. It’s up to us to educate others about carb counting.

Is this the same publication with print versions that are displayed at supermarket checkstands?
I can’t remember the title but it looks similar - just a lot of recipies that are not really low-carb, just low-sugar. These little publications seem aimed toward Type 2’s and some of the recipes look relatively healthy, but with the same emphasis on not cooking with cane sugar. They also feature pictures of desserts and headlines like “OUTSMART DIABETES” or “BEAT DIABETES WITH FOOD!” I snort in disgust when I see these things. Maybe it is not called “Diabetic Living;” I’ll check the name the next time I am at the grocery store. I hope no one out there buys those things.

Greg, I am not really sure… but I never look at those magazines in news stands, anymore. I need to keep my sanity. lol

@ Betty, you know for awhile I was gulty of being one of those ppl? Now I’m on the right track though. My daughter is too.

Reminds of the diabetic cookbooks I received as gifts; One had a huge plate of pasta featured on the cover. All had run-of-the-mill recipes that subsituted artificial sweetener for sugar. Does anyone need a cookbook for that? I threw them away & didn’t donate them. My tiny contribution to halting more misinformation.

Just my two cents: I think the emphasis on low-carb diets as the salvation, has inspired many to believe that yes, carbs did cause their diabetes.

I hear this from both T1’s and T2’s at the local support group, and on the internet in chat rooms etc. too.

Even here on tudiabetes, some T2’s are surprised that I would die without insulin. They honestly believe that as long as I don’t eat carbs that I’d be OK… because in their head, carbs are the cause.

Now I’ve been at this long enough to know it’s not true but it doesn’t really help the newbies.

Carbs are important but not the end-all and be-all.

@Tim: I’m not, with this post, trying to emphasize that things need to be low carb… in any way. Just that the focus when dealing with Diabetes should be knowing how to carb count, and how to handle carbs, however it is we handle them, either with diet, exercise, or appropriately dosing insulin. We should NOT be emphasizing to people that they stay away from sugar, or lead sugar free lives… or put in any kind of way, the illusion that sugar caused their Diabetes, or that only controlling sugar will control their Diabetes… etc. (I also, personally, do not believe in a zero carbohydrate diet.) People should just be better educated on making appropriate food/carb choices, and appropriate carb counts… That’s where the real win would be. :slight_smile:

I have to tell you, you have a right to be angry, but understand that much of this is propogated by people that have good intentions, they are just misinformed. The Diabetic Living magazine is a mainstream publication with a set of contributing writers that draws from “respected” dieticians and educators. They are just repeating the same cr*p put forward by the ADA, the other ADA and the AADE. In their view, people have diabetes cause they ate poorly, were slovenly and if they just stopped eating sugar, limited their portions in their high carb diet and lost weight, then they wouldn’t be so diabetic. And historically, it was thought that patients should just go about their life like they didnt’ have diabetes, take their medications, and when bad stuff happened, well that was just too bad.

If you really don’t like the message from the magazine, you can write to them, or you can send a note to Kelly Rawlings, the editor of Diabetic Living. Kelly been a member here for a while. But understand, Kelly is trying to help diabetics with the “recommended” guidance. She depends on these accepted “experts” for contributions. I’ll let Kelly speak for herself, but in my discussions with CDEs and others professionals, many know the the truth, but “have” to teach the party line and they often see the “worst” patients, eating donuts and not giving a d*mn.

Just my view of the situation.

I don’t think this is even a recommended guidance of the ADA, telling people to just not eat sugar, and not count carbs… :confused: I mean, I don’t agree at all with what they consider appropriate carb counts, but on their site they don’t tell people to stay away from sugar…! That’s like, ancient, 1985 crap data.

Lizmari, i think you should become a llicensed dietician. You do have a lot of knowledge that you have gathered. I am not a big fan on the lower carbs but I am sure some people can benefit from that type of diet. I tend to do long distance endurance and I have worked with my dietician and she has helped me find the right balance. She has your passion for knowledge and figuring out how food impacts people plus they make a nice dime. I should know I still owe my dietician 215.00 for 3 30 minute sessions, insurance decided not to cover. I always have said we can write 1000 letters but change is faster if it comes from within the system.

Liz - I was just trying to emphasize that the “Word on the street” (well, “word on the net” or “word on satellite TV” would be more appropriate today) has only shifted slightly in the past 30 years. 30 years ago all the naive thought that sugar caused diabetes. Today the situation is only slightly different, in that those who are slightly less naive think that carbs caused their diabetes.

Personally, I don’t think this is a fundamental shift, but only because I know all too well that sugar is one of many carbs.

Of course in the past decades others declared slightly different variations on this. For example I had so many people tell me in the 80’s and 90’s, that it was REFINED SUGAR that was a problem for diabetics or caused diabetes, and that NATURAL SUGAR was OK and even good for me. Again, just slight variations on the same theme, and again highly influenced by the nuts on TV or something grandma told them.

@Tim: I agree with you there… People often try to find new things to blame that have caused our Diabetes… that is true. Carbs may harm me, in excess, but I don’t think they caused my Diabetes, that’s for sure.