The reason for his column? Mr. Fowler became enraged when he saw a local organization -- The Diabetic Youth Foundation of Indiana -- having an ice cream social to raise funds to be able to send type 1 diabetic children to diabetes camp. Not only did Mr. Fowler perpetuate many myths about type 2 diabetes, but he also confused two different types of diabetes, and used innocent children as the objects of his tirade (a type of diabetes which has NO known connections with weight, or lifestyle choices).
The really sad part of everything is that even though Mr. Fowler claims to be an advocate of healthy eating habits, he fails to understand that the healthiest food habit of all is MODERATION. Moderation is the key to help us have LONG LASTING and healthful eating habits, as well as remain free from dangerous and destructive eating disorders, such as the dieting-binge eating cycle. A diabetic can have ANYTHING you have, in moderation... or is savvy enough to make a healthful alternative of the items they crave.
Attitudes such as Mr. Fowler's are dangerous, because...
* They lead to bullying of patients in school or at work, and aloofness on the part of friends and family, who blame patients for 'giving themselves' a disease. In America, 68% of people are either overweight or obese, but only 8.3% of Americans have ANY form of diabetes, including the undiagnosed. If diabetes were caused solely by obesity, ALL obese people would be diabetic;
* They impregnate the medical field, leading to a lack of caring, empathetic clinicians and medical professionals, and access to tools, medicines, specialists, and often, proper insurance coverage;
* They lead to a decline in fundraising for a cure, because when the public is aloof (or misunderstands the disease and its types), they fail to participate in awareness campaigns, or give any donations. Where they already think there's a cure, and that the patient is being lazy in embracing that 'cure,' they fail to see the point;
* They lead to isolation, depression, and mental health struggles on the part of patients, who feel stigmatized, judged, bullied for their choices, and hurt while they trying to manage the daily burden of this time consuming disease;
* They lead to eating disorders, confusion, burn out, and complications... Folks get into diet-guilt-deprivation-binge eating cycles, or fail to understand that they need to do a LOT more in order to manage diabetes than to control sugar intake.
So, in 2011, in solidarity with the Diabetic Youth Foundation of Indiana, near 2,500 diabetics joined in and said YES, we will have a scoop of ice cream!
Diabetes is NOT a disease about sugar. Diabetes is a disease in which the body fails to process glucose adequately, either because the pancreas does not make enough insulin, or because the body's cells have become resistant to it. Glucose is NOT the same as table sugar!! ALL the food we consume gets turned into glucose (from one degree to another), from a piece of lettuce, to a piece of candy. A well controlled diabetic knows how to count their carbohydrates, manage the portions of their meals, make low carbohydrate meal alternatives where necessary, exercise, and take any medicine or insulin (if appropriate).
We know a LOT more about diabetes than we did, in the 1980s... and it's time we stood our ground against folks like Mr. Fowler.
From now on, every first Saturday of August is A Diabetic Ice Cream Social Day. :) So have a scoop any way you like (full fat, lactose free, gluten free, low carbohydrate, vegan, etc...), and join us!
The Diabetic Ice Cream Social is, and will ALWAYS be about food independence.
Follow our fan page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheDiabeticIceCreamSocial
And our tweets, at @DiabeticICSoc