Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Here We Go Again

So last night, on Twitter, Kim posted a picture of an ad from Reader’s Digest. They were advertising “REVERSE DIABETES.” Oh boy. Not again. I swear sometimes I feel like I’m trying to run up a down escalator. You try and try and try, and then you make a change, only to realize that the ignorance and promotion of false information continues to plague the media.

I’ve quoted the ad below:

REVERSE DIABETES: Your Total Guide to Blood Sugar Control
Don’t let diabetes control you! This May, Reader’s Digest is brining you an essential guide to diabetes management with sensible, practical ways to adjust your eating habits, stay active, keep your blood sugar stable, and live life on your terms.

Okay, my very first issue with this whole ad is that they are presenting the idea the diabetes can be reversed. Sure, some people living with T2 can control their diabetes with diet and exercise. But that isn’t always possible. With T1’s, as we all know, insulin is essential. We die without it. But even for some T2’s, it’s nessecery to add oral medications or insulin to their treatment plans.

My second issue is that after basically telling people in their HUGE font, that they can reverse diabetes (read: CURE), the rest of the ad just focuses on getting control of your diabetes. It’s kind of false advertising. No, wait. It IS false advertising.

People will pick up this “special issue” in May thinking that there is a cure to be found inside. Instead, they are (hopefully) going to find only tips and suggestions on a healthier lifestyle that can help control blood sugars better. Maybe for some people wishing for a cure, this will help them get better control over this disease that they live with. But for others, it may just be another disappointment in a long line of fake “cures” that they’ve had thrown in front of them.

And even more people won’t pick up the issue at all. They’ll simply read the title in the supermarket checkout line and assume that there’s a cure for this devastating disease. And then they’ll wonder why I don’t do something to cure myself.

Control with diet and exercise is not a cure. Control with diet, exercise & medication is not a cure. Diabetes has NO CURE. The media perpetuates the myths that diabetes can be “reversed” by things like this Reader’s Digest “Special Issue.” All it does is let people who don’t understand things, continue to not understand, thereby making it harder on all people living with diabetes as well as harder on the people who know and love them.

So, I’m doing what I have to do. I’m writing a letter to Reader’s Digest to let them know. In truth, all the copies of this “Special Issue” are probably already printed up and sitting in boxes in a warehouse somewhere. But if we don’t try to do something, the myths will continue to be sold as truth.

You can contact Reader’s Digest by e-mailing letters@rd.com
Do it. Make a difference.


Anonymous said...

Here here!!!!!

Mike Durbin said...

Well said, Cara.

Kim said...

I'm so glad you wrote this! Thanks for helping to spread the word - here's hoping they listen and react.