The movie The Diabetes Solution

Who has seen this movie? It moved me to tears.

Is it another one of those low-carb things?

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You decide… It ends with a blurb from Dr Bernstein.

Or you can watch it.

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I will pass on that. I’ve heard his spiel before, and I don’t agree with it.


Right there with you.

I have zero qualms about adults choosing low-carb for themselves because it works for them. We all do what works for us, and it’s awesome to have options. But it makes me want to cry when I see such strictness forced on children, given the terrifying stats on childhood/adolescent depression and suicide in T1D. I suppose technically, I should give them that same respect, as if the children they’re caring for are an extension of themselves, but all I can see is what the parents can’t possibly know having never walked in those shoes themselves. But I did. I was that child, and I know how the weight of all those restrictions weighs down on you and how miserable that life can feel. And I know what my parents never could have possibly known themselves because I didn’t have the words, the capacity, or a comfortable enough relationship with them to express the danger their oppression placed me in. I also haven’t seen my parents in 20 years because adulthood was literally my escape from that oppression. I ran away and never looked back. Do they even consider that possibility?

Does Bernstein highlight mental health at all? Does he outright state that T1 youth are 61% more likely to have suicidal thoughts than their peers, and nearly twice as likely to actually carry through? I honestly don’t know the answer to this. I would abandon every last negative opinion if regular appointments with a mental health professional were part of the protocol, someone who’s better equipped to see the warming signs than the parents.

It kind of discredits the message when they paint such a false picture of the “opposition”, too. Sure, many years ago we were advised to eat a consistent amount of carbs, because that insulin required consistency. But nobody is forcing carbs down your throat anymore. Institutions like hospitals aside, because carbs are the most affordable way to feed the masses. But I’ve never seen a hospital without low-carb options. (Albeit my experience is limited.) The message is moderation. Given the obesity pandemic, the nutritional mantra is ALWAYS moderation now. And with moderation (and good nutritional training/bolus execution), excellent control is possible. It’s not like you have to choose between life-threatening highs and lows while gorging yourself on carbs and extreme low carb. There’s a VAST middle ground.


Good point! Additionally, people forcing such strict diets on children should consider the risk of eating disorders.


I would watch the movie before passing judgement.

Robyn, your parents used the Bernstein method with you when you were a child? Also there are children on the Bernstein diet in the movie who are happy with it and who were feeling awful before going on it. They are still children, so the standard advice their parents were following is most likely still in effect. Have you considered that suicidal risk in some young Type 1s is due to how awful they feel using mainstream treatment methods? When you refer to suicide data on young type 1s, is the sample taken from children using the Bernstein method? I don’t think it is.

I was diagnosed at age 8 in 1959 when almost comatose. My mom was always thinking about what makes up a healthy diet, so she never bought pop, donuts or chips. I didn’t eat a strict diet just a healthy one, until I was able to chose what I wanted to eat and then I ate whatever I wanted which included a lot of desserts. There was no at home blood testing until I had had the disease for 22 yrs. I was lucky because I wasn’t plagued with diabetic complications. I also felt fine with high glucose levels. I enjoyed my childhood.

I followed the 30 carbs a day diet for 11 yrs starting in my 50’s. I ended up with heart stents, migraines, and I would also suddenly faint and hit my head. Everything except for having the 2 heart stents cleared up, when I started eating a more balanced diet. I think some people do very well on extremely low carb diets, others get very sick, or have strokes or heart issues, and some have died. THERE IS NO ONE DIET FOR ALL DIABETICS. I don’t know if this way of eating is healthy for a child. I am certainly very glad that my parents didn’t have me on a strict diet, but just a healthy one. And yes, I did watch the movie. Actually I only watched what was posted, not the movie


If you watch the movie, Robyn, you will see that Harvard conducted a study with children on the Bernstein method and included mental health measures. 48:50 into the movie and the findings from Harvard on kids using the Bernstein method showed “a marked improvement on mental health…”

Would you be against a parent even just trying the Bernstein method to see how their child felt on it? Everyone’s diabetes varies, so isn’t it just possible that his method could be transformative for some children at least? Come on.

I was very convinced, at one time, that the Bernstein diet was wonderful and that everybody should try it. Now I don’t think it is a healthy choice for many people, so no I wouldn’t start a child on it.

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So you say you watched the movie, saw what Harvard researchers found monitoring the children on the Bernstein diet, and you still wouldn’t tell a parent to at least try it out and see how their child feels? That is unreasonable. In addition, there are plenty of people on the Bernstein diet that didn’t require stents as you do. How many grams of carbs a day do you feel is healthy? Do you believe A1c has been shown to correlate with heart disease? PS I just saw you edited your post to say you just watched the trailer. Anyone considering your opinion should take that into account.

I will watch it soon. My A1c was 4.7 to 5.1 during my time low carbing. My LDL rose a lot on this diet and I ignored it because Of the controversy about cholesterol levels at the time. I learned the hard way that this woe was not for me. I took 17 to 21 total units of insulin while eating 30 carbs.

For the last 6 years I have followed a low fat vegan diet. I now take the same amount of insulin but eat around 265 carbs daily. I feel much better eating this way. My A1c runs in the 4’s. The last one was 4.6. My time in range is excellent with very few lows and almost nothing high and never very high. This woe is much more heart healthy for me.

Why would I suggest the very low carb diet for my child when it was disastrous for me? That just doesn’t make sense nor is it unreasonable to not offer it to my child.

It depends on what you are doing.

I have never used the Bernstein diet and I do not subscribe to using draconian diet solutions.

I loved the movie. Let the Bernstein thing go, and watch the movie. It is worth watching. Or don’t. Much like diet solutions it is not for everyone.


I understand why you would not want it for your child. Maybe with your particular genetics that diet would cause problems. But for others without your genetics? Why not give a caveat and say heart health should be monitored closely? I have been eating around 50 grams a day of carbs. After 8 years of eating that amount of carbs I had a coronary artery calcium scan and it was zero. Blood pressure is great and lipids are great.

I would see if my child would eat the Mediterranean diet. It tests out better than all diets for a healthy long life, so that is what I would aim for.

I am bringing a ton of experience to this conversation. I was a child with diabetes, plus I have raised a child with a life long illness. Personally I wouldn’t put a child on this restrictive of a diet.


Also, besides heart stents, I was quite sick as I mentioned before with severe migraines and episodes of syncope which required ambulances and hospitals. All of this was no longer a problem once I increased my carbs.

I have also said that I think the Bernstein diet works well for some people.


I also think there is a difference between vegetable/healthy carbs and things like breads, corn, sweets, non-diet drinks, etc.

I don’t count carbs per meal, but do eat combo meals that contain meat, proteins and limited carbs. Generally require about the same insulin dose. With cgm and pump, can watch for spike, or just let CIQ tackle a rising bg.

However I did benefit from replacing refined carbs with higher fiber/complex carbs.