Oprah Takes On Diabetes

Thursday Oprah had her team on her show to wake up the world about diabetes. Dr. Oz, heart surgeon had a lot to say, Bob Greene, personal trainer talked about the value of exercise, Dr. Ian Smith roused a group of church ladies who all have diabetes, or have it in their family, to get committed, and Oprah’s former chef who’s lost 85 pounds since his diagnosis of type 2 diabetes was there to say stop frying your chicken in grease. Since I had just been given the keys to The Huffington Post washroom, I posted my first blog piece that night about the show http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riva-greenberg/oprah-takes-on-diabetes_b_451354.html.

Many have since commented and a lot commented on the fear factor Oprah used: Let's scare people to get checked and see if they have diabetes or get moving to take care of it if they already have it!!! Show amputations, talk about how diabetes is bankrupting America. But fear only goes so far. It's not going to sustain good self-care because you're always trying to avoid something. You can get darn tuckered out. However, moving toward what you want gives you energy and sustains more positive actions. "Oprah, let's do another show. Quick!"

Provided they don't take the keys away from me, what would you like to see a post about next time? riva

I agree there does need to be more information available to people with D. Whether it’s TV, radio, magazines, books, word of mouth the message needs to be said. Scaring people doesn’t always get the understanding of what outcomes this disease can have…I believe the delivery has to change and tell people from the start the outcome of good management.

I think you did an excellent job :slight_smile: I also think that the problem is a general lack of information - scare tactics don’t help anyone. This episode of Oprah’s did just as much to spread more misinformation as it did to raise awareness… and I think the misinformation is really the root of the problem. I personally was quite upset that if anything it only serves to confuse people MORE.

The problem is, if people with diabetes have access to good medical care and supplies, and have a pretty healthy family history, and manage to keep aspects of diabetes care–blood glucose, blood pressure, blood lipids, kidney health, eye health, and not too many severe lows or highs–in control, we’re boring. We’re not good TV.

We’re just people living our lives. Challenging and complicated and courageous lives, of course. But not sensational enough for national TV.

I would like to see a blog about programs, techniques, etc., that successfully move people toward the kinds of healthful behavioral changes they want to make. Not that we SHOULD make and sustain such changes (duh, we already know that), but HOW. Thanks for keeping the dialogue going!

I hate to be a sour puss but I speak my mind…

My concern has to do with this being just a publicity stunt for Oprah. When she really cares about a topic she goes completely out for it. It is not enough to report that diabetes exists and it is getting worse. Most of the ignorant people know that. What I am concerned with is she planning on doing a monthly check up on diabetes? 15 years ago when she was on this weight loss kick she dedicated a whole year to weight loss. She had monthly shows and programs dedicated to weight loss. I think she was even visiting cities with her weight loss plan. If she would do this then I would say she did something very good. Otherwise it is good she did something but i would not hope for the world to be changed.

I didn’t see the show but did say anything about Type 1? Most of the comments seem to be type 2 based. If this is so… I expect all the Type 1’s to write the show and complain. Don’t blab about on tudiabetes but go to Oprah’s magazine and website and make your voice be heard about Type 1.

I found out I had diabetes several years ago by seeing a show on Oprah about the disease. I recognized my symptoms and had my doc confirm. The more often people hear about diabetes and how to prevent and or treat it, the better.

Congrats on getting the restroom key. I don’t think they’ll take it away soon. Liked your blog and enjoyed your ‘50 things’ book, too. Keep up the good work.


Thanks Terry. Go take a look at the second post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/oprah. They haven’t taken the keys away yet. riva