That diabetes media story is wrong

In the aftermath of the recent T1D and T2D renaming controversy, I refuse to settle in to one of the two polarized positions that divide us. One common theme expressed by both sides is that we need to educate the public if and when they pay attention to diabetes.

We’ve all had that experience in reading a media story online or hearing a radio or TV spot, news and advertisements, that are just flat out wrong or mislead the reader/listener/viewer to conclusions that can harm. If you’re like me, you experience some mild irritation but, in the end, just place it under the heading of “things that cannot be changed.”

That made me think. Does anyone or any diabetes advocate organization monitor the media (print, broadcast, internet, and social) and respond to the often-expressed inaccuracies about diabetes, both T1 and T2?

Does JDRF, ADA, or the IDF monitor the media and offer corrections to the offending publication and/or writer? How do the more successful patient advocate organizations, like those that champion the causes of breast cancer and HIV/AIDS, correct media ignorance and bias?

Does anyone out there know anything about this issue? Perhaps we could collectively make this situation better.

FASCINATING question. Don't know the answer, but this deserves real attention. Political groups of one stripe or another are usually quick to respond to what they consider media distortions, but I don't know of any patient advocate organizations that do likewise. If no one is doing this, someone certainly should.

David - Thanks for the response. We as a community could benefit from this type of advocacy. It wouldn’t make a huge difference but over time could have a perceptible cumalitive effect. The status quo is not acceptable to most of us.

This type of activism could be rewarding as well. Imagine the satisfaction that a T2D could feel pushing pesuasively back against current wrong and ignorant cultural beliefs that willful gluttony and sloth creates T2 diabetes. We all can complain about these injustices but wouldn’t it be great to set the record straight each and every time that ignorance raises its ugly head?

Diabetes Advocates is supposed to be doing this (

I love the Coast Starlight.


Melitta - Thanks for the link. Diabetes Advocates looks like a great vehicle to monitor media coverage of diabetes.

You know....might be an idea to pick the brains of the folks at the Cancer society...Aids foundation and such. A symposium.

Judith - Congrats on your grassroots activism. I’m curious about the Kaiser policy that brought your reaction. Did they try to limit test strips to a very small number or something like that?

I took a train trip two years ago from Oakland to Portland. You’re right. The social opportunities to engage about diabetes are many. My hypoglycemia alert dog provides a natural segueway to talk about D.

You bring a very good question. I know there are many diabetes organization out there but I do not know if any are media watchdog groups.

The question I have is, Can we as a group do anything. Can TuDiabetes become a media watch dog or does it even want to. We have the people and the knowledge. We know when something out there just isn't right. Can we organize our voices to set the record straight.

We as a group of people living with diabetes could have a powerful voice. A voice that represents those of us with this disease not that of the special interest groups out there.

Is this type of activism within the scope and vision that the staff and administrators have for TuD. I would love to hear their thoughts.

As mentioned upthread by Melitta, the Diabetes Hands Foundation runs a Diabetes Advocates group that does some of this type of work in addition to a range of other activities. A watchdog group comprised of those living with diabetes that kept close tabs on the media and responded quickly could have an impact over time.

I didn't realized that was a Diabetes Hand site. It's mission is good but I'm not sure it is doing what the OP ask. Is it monitoring the media and taking efforts to correct the mis-information out there.