Hello everyone, and welcome back once again to another edition of “So, You Think You Know Diabetes”. Well, today’s topic is one that will agitate even the most oblivious type 1 diabetic, and that’s the social stigma and perception of diabetes. Let us begin, shall we?
So, have you ever been hanging out in a store with a friend or a group of friends, and you’re just walking around, doing what friends do in stores. Then, you come across something absurdly large in the candy aisle. You all take a look at it; marvel and gawk at the fact that the candy companies can make their product this large for retail, and then someone says “well, that’ll give you diabetes”. You stand there, flabbergasted, unable to get out your explanation as to why that won’t “give you diabetes” while also beating back the thoughts of bashing their head in with said giant chocolate bar.
Before you go bludgeoning anyone with sugary items, let’s break it down as to why the public perception of diabetes is like that. And it has to do with the fact that we, at least in American society, are trying to be extremely health conscious. And one way to make people start to become health-conscious, is scare tactics. What better way to make people worry about their health is to use…DIABETES! Remember when I linked back to the WHO’s press release on Type 2 diabetes, and how they list that the most common occurrence comes from a poor lifestyle. How many commercials do you see for medication for those who are Type 2?
Now, I know I just unloaded on you guys. But think about this for a second. Diabetes is a life-long, chronic illness. Do we make the same kind of jokes when it comes to other chronic illnesses? That’s what gets me the most about the public’s perception about diabetes. Yes, it can be attributed to being unhealthy in terms of our lifestyle and the foods we eat. BUT, please, stop making jokes of it. Hell, stop making jokes of ailments that do not affect you. Seriously people. There are times where we, as humanity, just need to grow up and say, “Hey, maybe this is harmful to some people. Maybe we should stop.”
Yes, I did just unload on you. But, to use a personal example. When I started my job a couple of months back, we had gotten in these gigantic Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (1/2 lb each, and there’s two in the package). Now, thankfully I didn’t hear more of these comments, but there were two people that commented that it would give you diabetes. The first one, I let slide, but I admonished the second person for it. Whoops. Oh well.
And that’s all I’ve got for you folks. Sorry if this turned out to be more of a rant on people’s ignorance rather than an analysis of public perception, but, sometimes, you have to let things get personal. Thank you so much for reading, and until next time, I am the Baumeister, and I have been, obediently yours.