I find this new movement very dangerous

By davidhogan Latest Reply 2013-04-10 14:54:27 -0500
Started 2013-03-13 19:44:04 -0500

It is becoming commonplace on Facebook and other social media to absolve any bad life choices in type 2 diabetes with campaigns that are telling everyone how it is genetics and they had no control over becoming a type 2 diabetic. (Emphasis on Type 2 here, not Type 1) I do not like this at all and I find it dangerous to send this message out to the public as if there is nothing they can do to possibly prevent it from happening.

There was another one launched today where the thrust was - no one should judge Paula Dean and we should all be advocates, etc.

I will NEVER be for kicking someone when they are down, including Paula Deen, but to act like life choices and the choices the masses make in what they eat does NOT effect this epidemic is a very DANGEROUS path to walk down and I'm not going to be a part of it.

Advocacy is helping people deal with the disease and make good choices for their future health, NOT coming up with ways to absolve the ENTIRE spectrum of people that have entered the ranks of type 2 diabetes and are now a part of this terrible epidemic.

The campaign also talked about "owning" the disease, which I found ironic, as I don't see how touting to the world what I ate, had nothing to do with me becoming a diabetic, when clearly I know different for myself and countless others, is a dangerous message.

I ate way TOO much junk for years and I OWN that, and my attention is focused on making better choices, NOT in convincing the world I did no wrong. Again, I want to support everyone and help, but I still think this is a dangerous message to send en masse.

51 replies

sNerTs1 2013-04-10 11:53:44 -0500 Report

Stop the "blame" and adopt the "claim"!!

Too many people look to "blame" everything on something else. Take accountability here. My story ~

To say its my diet and weight totally is to say that I have no genetic markers that allowed T2 to enter my being. With that said and known, YES I am overweight and YES I also have genetic markers that quite possibly helped me acquire my disease.

My godfather passed away from diabetic complications. My dad as well as I suspect behind his cancer. Of my two uncles I have left, they both are diabetic, one near his final stages of life and the other happily living.

Of my 6 siblings though, I am the first to be diagnosed with the disease. I am also the heaviest person in my family (but not always) and have always been the sickest of any of them throughout my life. I own that and work on that. But it is also not the only reason why I have it. I agree to blame it on one thing versus another is not the way to go at all. That it takes much education to figure out how this disease works, but moreso, how to make it work FOR you and not AGAINST you. Sounds odd huh? It is, although its the take that I have adopted for myself.

I watch what I eat, more protein in the forms of chicken, pork the other white meat, fish and yes I like my red meats and eat those in moderation. Can YOU retrain your thoughts on what is healthier for you, of course you can. My carb intake is lower at only 60 gms a day.

But don't for a second think that genetics and weight are the culprits of everything in this disease. As complex as it is, it has to do with emotional and physical health as well. When I found out that I was diabetic, I first went into denial and then remembered all the people in my life that I have lost, first a childhood friend who passed at the young age of 30 from diabetic complications. That man lost his eye sight, had kidney transplants and could hardly get around due to the disease. Another friend lost his left knee due to an ankle fracture and not taking care of himself. From there, he had to have a heart transplant and many other things and eventually received a pancreas. He says he is cured and eats everything as if he has never had diabetes before. Including ALL of my family that Ive lost. Then I took the position of "I will NOT let diabetes own me, I will OWN IT!

My lowest A1C was at 5.4 and would have stayed there if I didn't have a life changing event which gave me so much stress that I started eating wrong again. And by wrong I mean … not eating my breakfast or snacks, eating just when I had gotten hungry and then even though I was eating the "right" foods for me, it was not a good portion of it. Stress was running my life and through that my A1Cs popped up to the 7s and I was EXTREMELY unhappy for that. Once my stress was gone, I am doing so much better.

I believe it is up to US as individuals to educate those surrounding us, those that are ignorant to the disease yet judgmental to people as they all think it has to do with weight. Have you watched the news? They will talk about obesity and seconds later they will through up statistics that state obesity and diabetes go hand in hand.

Like I said in an earlier post, diabetes is NOT prejudiced on people it will attack. You can be fat/skinny, ugly/pretty, rich/poor, tall/short, in shape/out of shape, a runner or a rider … it doesn't matter.

Thank you for your post. *Hugz* Cheryl

mhcfc13 2013-04-10 10:58:10 -0500 Report

This is almost like the nature vs nurture disagreement. I realize it is a psychological conception, but diabetes in a genetic fashion can be misleading. It can run in families with predisposition to the disease. It can be considered genetic due to environmental factors from family and community dietary factors. However, to say that genetics and heredity are the same I think are untrue, just like saying that the decision versus disease discussion for addiction.

I was informed if I could lose weight and exercise I may have the history of T2, but that I would no longer be T2 if I keep it under control. The other position to state is that as a society we are more and more a disposable society, and in the disposable concept we also add more unhealthy things to our daily life. More and more "preservatives" are being added or required. Places that are caregiving places are required to maintain and follow protocols for food which reduces the use of the fresh foods because they are not processed and packaged satisfactorily.

I have seen posts in this topic that are a personalized part to the issue. We need also be more active with requiring the healthy changes in the requirements, protocols, and processes. I remember a while back when McDonald's was accused of causing obesity. It is not the company, but the choices we made, and the extras that are in the food. Let us be active in resolving this with us and teach them.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-04-10 14:54:27 -0500 Report

I think we depend on society to take care of us rather than taking care of ourselves. If a person chooses to eat at McDonald's every day. It is their own fault. Diabetes and heart disease can run in families. My parents were not diabetic and neither is my sisters. All of my mothers sisters have heart problems as did their brothers. Some of their children have heart related issues.

If you lose weight, you may not have to be on medication with T2 but you will always be diabetic. Once off the medication, you still have to watch your diet. There is no cure for diabetes contrary to what people may think or say.

Preservatives have been in food since the first canned foods were processed. People salted fish and pork to keep them when there was no refrigeration or freezers. Just because they have processed foods does not mean you have to eat them on a daily basis. I buy fresh veggies cook them and freeze them. I rarely buy processed veggies and fruits. I do not eat fast foods. Growing up we didn't have a McDonalds, Burger King or Dairy Queens in my city. We also didn't have supermarkets until the late 1960's. We had 5 or 6 City owned farmers market where we had to go to get everything fresh.

I know I made bad food choices. I have diabetes and I own it. In a way being diagnosed was a blessing because it made me make healthy food choices and caused me to lose weight. I don't spend my life worrying about being diabetic, prolonging my life and I don't buy into every cure all propaganda in the news. I choose to live my life to the fullest and diabetes is not my main focus. I do what I have to do to the point it is now routine. I hope a cure is found one day but until that happens I am going to live my life and have as much fun doing it as possible.

CHenry9973 2013-03-27 17:20:50 -0500 Report

hmmm, my sister was overweight, developed diabeties, had gastric bipass, lost a ton of weight, is no longer a diabetic. So how does that play into the notion it is just genetics? (oh yea, a lot of diabeties in my family, and a lot of overweight people as well).

Type1Lou 2013-03-21 18:35:07 -0500 Report

It's all about taking responsibility for one's actions, isn't it? I've seen too many people unwilling to make the difficult decisions needed to properly manage their condition. I haven't always made the right choices but I own my choices and live by the consequences of those choices, both good and bad.

kdroberts 2013-03-20 22:14:52 -0500 Report

The simple basic facts are that the vast majority of overweight people do not have diabetes, there are many genes that have been and are being scientifically studied relating to type 2 diabetes and there has never been any scientific study done that proves that poor diet, being overweight and sedentary actually causes diabetes. Everything related to diabetes at the moment is really just educated guesses. We are trying to reverse engineer the disease to figure it out which means that people have to be willing to give up on old theories that are no longer proving to be accurate and start looking at other areas.

Diet and exercise may help in the short to medium term but if you are genetically predisposed then at some point your body will give up.

davidhogan 2013-03-21 17:53:56 -0500 Report

I would argue your statement; that at some point your body will give up if you are genetically predisposed, is an educated guess as well.

For as many people as we can cite that are skinny with it, just as many can be cited that are overweight. I'm glad to see the topic got some good information flowing, I remain with my initial thought that a campaign that hangs this very complicated disease on nothing but genetic predisposition within the type 2 category, is dangerous.

June Tademy
June Tademy 2013-03-19 17:27:28 -0500 Report

Just wanted to say that my personal view is that I do not really care why I have the disease, I have it! My interest has always been - - - what to do properly to keep living with it. I have been quite successful if I say so myself:) It just is

Pastelpainter 2013-03-16 02:04:56 -0500 Report

I did not eat crap food, I exercised and I ate natural food only pre-diagnosis.
The doctor linked diabetes 2 to the cancer I had some years back, lymphoma to be precise. I link it to eating low GI, because I was already eating like this when the dr. told me to do so, I just added more whole grain bread, and the extra carbs tipped me over into T2. I wouldn't even touch fast food with a bargepole, know too much about what goes into it.

Danny1966 2013-03-15 10:15:01 -0500 Report

99 percent of the time type 2 diabetes is a disease that affects those who are overweight to some degree and they tend to lead a fairly sedentary lifestyle. Yes, there is a genetic predisposition but that doesn't mean I was doomed to have it. My a1c is now in the 5.8-5.9 range consistently because I watch every bite I eat and exercise daily. People who are genetically predisposed to be alcoholics would never become one if they don't take the first drink. Likewise, genetic predisposition doesn't determine one's acquiring of type 2 diabetes in EVERY case. Personal choices and habits play a huge part. I owned the lifestyle I lived that led to my developing diabetes. I now own a lifestyle that makes me healthier with the disease than I would have been without it. By the way…discipline is the only way to face this disease and have any hope of minimizing its destructive power. I have had 7 very close family members die from complications with my mom being the closest to me. She had two heart attacks, 2 strokes, both legs amputated and went blind before she died of kidney failure. O yes…she smoked and ate what she wanted. I love her dearly but her death has saved me. I refuse to live that lifestyle. She died at 59. I don't need any other object lessons. Your future is up to you.

RutabagaRosie 2013-03-19 05:00:47 -0500 Report

Very helpful comments. Condolences for the loss of your Mother and other family members. I agree that discipline is the major way to combat this disease. I have a combination of conditions and look forward to the encouragement and education shared on this site. Blessing to you.

GabbyPA 2013-03-15 01:49:20 -0500 Report

I think this may be an attempt to educate people in that diabetes is not a "fat person's disease". That can back fire if we don't take responsibility to eat better and take better care of our bodies, I agree. But there is a stigma attached that may be the focus of over coming it. Just like when people say "you don't look diabetic". What does that mean? How are we supposed to look?

When we generalize too much in either direction is it dangerous.

davidhogan 2013-03-15 08:24:07 -0500 Report

Diabetes is an extremely complicated disease, but so is the human body in general. I understand not wanting the stigma, I just don't buy a campaign that ties it to genetics only. If these new campaigns had their focus on letting people know, yes, there are risk factors such as obesity, age, and diet that increase your risk, BUT people without these factors can be at risk too, SO GET TESTED and do so regularly, then I would not have raised the issue. Great point on swinging in either direction.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-03-14 19:57:29 -0500 Report

David I have seen a lot of that on Facebook as Ads. I don't bother to read them. I also saw one that claimed to cure diabetes in 30 days although I have not seen it in the past 6 months. I pay no attention to that kind of advertisement anymore than I would waste my time reading it.

Lentyl 2013-03-16 04:38:15 -0500 Report

I think that rather than being taken in by the "cure diabetes" ads it's far more important to consider curing our diet and that can take a lot of discipline because we have to break long-standing eating habits.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-03-16 17:51:27 -0500 Report

I agree Lentyl. There is no cure for diabetes as there are no quick fast in a hurry weight loss pill that is healthy for anyone including diabetics. You are correct, cure your diet that will help you faster and it is free and easy.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-03-16 17:51:27 -0500 Report

I agree Lentyl. There is no cure for diabetes as there are no quick fast in a hurry weight loss pill that is healthy for anyone including diabetics. You are correct, cure your diet that will help you faster and it is free and easy.

Stuart1966 2013-03-14 19:22:40 -0500 Report

I respect your distinction!

To whatever degree it is possible FOR ANY of us, to alter the outcome(s) on whatever level, we should explore them. Each single grain makes a difference, with time they do add up, and can tip the scales

davidhogan 2013-03-14 13:46:13 -0500 Report

So, let me add this… No matter what the blame, or blames in the plural sense, as I do not think there is one mold that fits all. ONCE it happens for whatever reason… Then, are the healthier choices not something required for management…in part? I realize even the word "healthy" is subjective, but what I do know is that carbs directly impact my diabetes so maybe some carb education moderation might be in order. Not just a no carb, but at least a moderation of such. Thoughts?

Nick1962 2013-03-14 18:58:26 -0500 Report

Not just carb education there David . Full out diet education. Diabetes is genetic in the sense that simply by owning a pancreas; you are at risk of getting it. Even animals get it, but in their kingdom its cause is brought on by (and I quote a study here) “eating a diet beyond that of which the animal has evolved to effectively process”. Once pet food manufacturers started using grains as fillers and extenders, many domesticated pets started getting diabetes. The fox raids the chicken coop, not the grain silo because it’s a meat eater and isn’t designed/evolved to process grains. Same is true for dogs and cats, and to some degree – humans. As humans, I think we lack, or have had bred out of us the very simple instinct of what to eat and what not to. We’re not designed to process dairy too far beyond birth. We’re not set up to process grains or starches in the quantities we do, and we certainly aren’t designed to consume the endless variety of foods we do. If you look at animals, even our pets, they pretty much have the same diet day after day. I took that as a cue and 5 days a week my breakfast and lunch is the same. Boring, but my numbers rarely fluctuate during the week. For having the brain size we do, I’m finding us pretty stupid when it comes to the simple things.

davidhogan 2013-03-14 19:17:52 -0500 Report

I also love the pancreas-genetic line of thought!

Nick1962 2013-03-15 11:44:24 -0500 Report

Given the context of your post, I took your use of “genetic” as meaning “hereditary”. As others expressed, there are hereditary markers which can cause decreased pancreatic function and such, and I know you’re not targeting that group. I’ve learned through my diabetic journey so far there is also familial and social heredity as well. My grandparents had certain diet habits they passed onto my parents. My parents were not the farmers their parents were, so their health suffered from the protein and fat rich diet my grandparents thrived on. They tried to adapt somewhat for their lifestyle and passed those habits on to me. There was no way for them to know I would, later in life, be sitting at a computer all day. We are taught to eat a certain way as children because that’s what our parents know. To me, for many that is a hereditary trait that few feel comfortable breaking, but agree wholeheartedly we need to. That is what I see as the heredity "crutch" many will be walking on when they get diagnosed.

davidhogan 2013-03-14 19:10:41 -0500 Report

I agree Nick1962 and I can't wait until we figure you what is what in that regard. I agree with the Paleo theory quite a bit. Thanks for sharing your thoughts they make a lot of sense.

Nick1962 2013-03-15 11:29:47 -0500 Report

I follow a Paleo-style diet and it seems to be treating me well. It is a simple and easy plan, and actually can be quite cost effective if you do it right. I guess that’s my way of “owning” my condition.

jayabee52 2013-03-14 18:07:09 -0500 Report

I agree with you there David. Until I got my carb intake under control, my diabetes was a unruly, unpredictable beast. Since I have reduced my carbs signifigantly it has become tamer.

davidhogan 2013-03-14 19:13:11 -0500 Report

James I have to wholeheartedly, emphasis on wholeheartedly, agree with you as getting a real grip on carbs helped me stabilize. Thanks for sharing.

granniesophie 2013-03-14 13:28:56 -0500 Report

I tend to disagree with the generalized statement. There are many factors to blame in the developement of Diabetes Type 2 other than genetics.
Lifestyle choices certainly are considered in developement, however, it is sometimes more than eating incorrectly.
There is so much crap in our foods, including the so- called "healthy food" that contributes to our issues, and I do NOT mean "fast foods". Even our produce, meats, etc are genetically messed with, and so-called "orgainic" foods are out of a lot of people's price range.
When prices come down on "good" foods, and go up on the crap, then perhaps we can point fingers at this or that person who does not fit the "mold" of a Diabetic that you have in your mind.
I don't believe any Diabetic is necessarily wrong in their choices, doing what is best for them, and I think we have to be tolerant of those that do the best they can, given what they have and can afford.
Diabetes has been around for as long as humans have, and whether we get it or not depends on so many things that objecting to one thing gets us nowhere and tends to make it difficult for those that may be stuck and can't do what they would like for their own health.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-03-16 18:03:37 -0500 Report

Sophie, once you are diagnosed for diabetes, why put blame anywhere? That is a waste of time that could be used education yourself. Scientist are never going to agree on the cause because very little in science is exact.

I just read an article about a bakery in New Jersey being shut down for mislabeled food. They claimed their sugar free baked goods were sugar free and fat free. It wasn't so the FDA shut them down. Consumers have no idea what is in the foods we eat. Even growing it ourselves, we still wouldn't know what was in the feed or if the seeds are genetically manufactured. People rave about organic food. There are chemicals in the ground and depending on where you live, drinking water has fluoride added to it. I also read an article that with people flushing drugs, these are now in our water so how is something organic if chemicals have been introduced into the system via water and air.

This is a capitalist country. Businesses are going to make their money and the demand is for cheap fast foods. They know that if they raise the price people are not going to stop and grab a burger while tooling around town. Healthier food is going to cost more and those of us who want to eat healthy are going to pay for it so that price isn't going to be lowered.

I agree diabetes has been around as long as humans however, care for the disease has improved. It comes down to making choices of how you care for yourself if you want to be healthier. Many of the ads we see for cures and quick weight loss are scams. These companies know that there are gullible people who are going to fall for them.

davidhogan 2013-03-14 13:38:04 -0500 Report

And healthy choices are hard and expensive to find. I think there is a lot that can be done to help thwart or minimize this epidemic, but it will not happen over night. I do strongly believe if we start "educating" the public this is merely genetics, it will be a lot longer than over night. Thanks for joining in.

mhcfc13 2013-03-14 13:18:18 -0500 Report

The surprising part is the lack of choice topic. Choices are always there. Genetics is not a choice, but a given. Genetically inherited is not a T2 issue, diet and exercise are the starts. However, there is a familial point to consider, which may not be genetics, but is in the choice-or lack of choices and understanding. My mother-in-law thinks and swears that corn is a vegetable-due to diabetes, high cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure, I know corn is a starch/grain which results in carbohydrates.
You can not convince my 64 yro mother in law this is a starch/grain, and we have ended up with potatoes and corn much of the time with the meat dish. For children this is even worse, because they are intimidated not to speak up. Schools are doing better, but I still see much of double carbs on meal plans. I too ate too much of the wrong things, but that is in choices. We need to fully understand that as diabetics and for our loved ones that are cooking for us. Genetic influence is a dangerous concept with T2, and I feel in most cases T1. The culprit is a body organ that shuts down, not a defect in the genome and chromosomes that genetic infers. Good arguments.
Bottom line is that we need to learn and educate our loved ones, and be adamant and assertive about what we can and can not have, and advocate for the ones who can't or have problems.

davidhogan 2013-03-14 13:22:24 -0500 Report

Thanks for that input. I think the topic is worthy of discussion and agree there are many factors. Education is key as I see it and thus the reason I raised this new campaign as something that bothered me as it does not introduce the various factors but left it to genetic chance only. So true on the corn aspect.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-03-14 02:05:15 -0500 Report

Wish it was as simple as I ate too much X and became Diabetic. However it does involve your liver and pancreas working correctly,having enough insulin receptors on your cells, and what other little biological problems researchers have not figured out yet, play their roles in Diabetes.
There are many people with diabetes who try their darndest to eat the perfect foods and yet their BG goes all over the place. Just as there are many people who live on all the bad food and never have Diabetes.
If I chose to continue to eat fritos that spike my BG and the uncontrolled BG caused me to go blind, then yes I will say my bad. Ditto with Kidney failure, Heart disease, whatever Diabetic complication. However, it was not the fritos that gave me diabetes. It is something in my genetic code that lead to the Diabetes.

davidhogan 2013-03-14 11:09:09 -0500 Report

I wish it was as simple as what you say about those eating the "perfect" food as I have yet to find what that is, and I've seen the government change their minds countless times on what that is.

I also respectfully submit that in the 70's when this epidemic began to take rise I find it hard to believe that genetic codes just suddenly changed without "something" triggering that code.

I'm willing to bet it was the introduction of even more sugar into the mainstream diet and less activity and I fully realize that as a simplification.

locarb 2013-03-13 22:02:12 -0500 Report

While I agree with you, in part, with all due respect it is somewhat of an oversimplification. I know obese people without this diagnosis and rail-thin people who have it. But let's assume you're entirely right; I have mentioned before that I was alive for half a century before my blood sugar was tested.

Meters and testing strips can be, and are, given to medical providers for free.
In less than a minute and the cost of probably less than a penny, amortized
over the entire patient population, a routine check of blood sugar would at
least inform people of their own likelihood for Type 2 diabetes. If that were
to happen, I probably would be more inclined to agree with your admonishments.

Either way, it's a well-reasoned premise…I just disagree, in part.

Mikeal72 2013-03-22 18:37:37 -0500 Report

I too have wondered why on earth don't nurses and doctors check every patients blood sugar on each and every single visit, just like blood pressure, weight, pulse, etc. That seems like it would be a simple but profound change that would make patients aware that their BS is a very important matter to care about!!

davidhogan 2013-03-14 11:04:33 -0500 Report

I respect that and I emphasized putting this out en masse as my problem. I'm not trying to be ENTIRELY right as you ask me to assume, and I say that with all due respect. What I am saying is ignoring eating choices and lifestyle is dangerous.

locarb 2013-03-14 12:43:33 -0500 Report

As is smoking, alcohol consumption, high-risk sexual activity, self-medication, abusing prescription drugs, and obsessive behavior including gambling, pornography, "shopping" and the list goes on.

As I mentioned, I do agree with you, in part; however, whatever if food additives in food processing render otherwise "healthy" foods dangerous. Many of us no longer eat foods from cans as a result of this.

Yes, we should all "eat healthy". Doing so isn't necessarily easy anymore. That, to me, is more dangerous.

davidhogan 2013-03-14 12:46:54 -0500 Report

But I'm not talking about all those other things. My point is that I see this movement as a step away from healthy choices and possible prevention, all for the sake of finding something to blame to lessen guilt.

locarb 2013-03-14 12:53:37 -0500 Report

Obviously. The point was there are a number of things that contribute to consequences. Perhaps even being very defensive when someone merely says, "yes, in part." How do you know that everyone, or anyone other than yourself, "feels guilt" regarding having this condition? Your original post states that you "OWN" ( I guess the caps were important to you" your overeating or making unhealthy choices. I think that's great and wish you success with dealing with those feelings and making better choices in the future.

There are many roads to health and illness. There are also many opinions regarding each.

davidhogan 2013-03-14 13:07:37 -0500 Report

My original post states that I OWN…was in conjunction with the campaign saying to do so, you taking more into that than offered, I will not comment on. I think this has gone to the personal side over mere discussion, and that was not my intent.

June Tademy
June Tademy 2013-03-19 17:23:48 -0500 Report

Right David, at times we do go overboard on these discussions:) many many opinions. I agree with a lot of your statements. Just wanted to say I did and do not care how this disease is part of my life- my primarily statement to my Doctor when I was diagnosed was: Now how do I handle it and continue living…

davidhogan 2013-03-14 13:02:41 -0500 Report

And to answer your question… I do not know what "everyone" thinks on anything at all, thus the reason a view point is offered up for discussion.

davidhogan 2013-03-14 12:53:10 -0500 Report

I have no intention of kicking someone when down or going after those that ate "healthy" and came to be on this path, my point is I find this push to tell people eating and lifestyle had nothing to do with this as dangerous. I fail to see why it is more important to exonerate ones self at the risk of making people think they have no possible control over preventing type 2 diabetes. Maybe some don't, but some do…I can't see making it one definitive catchall for diabetes in these new campaigns.