Diabetes Blog Week Day 2: We, The Undersigned

Diabetes Blog Week 2013

Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so today let’s pretend to write our own. Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) – get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change?

One of the most obnoxious things about living with diabetes is the constant barrage of inaccurate and sensationalized media coverage surrounding the disease. From TV news stories attempting to summarize a medical study in 30 seconds, to magazine features offering tips to reverse diabetes, much of the coverage harms more than it helps. Rather than educating the public about diabetes, the media tends to reinforce incorrect and harmful stereotypes. Sadly, these stereotypes are what most people know about diabetes.  (If I had a nickel for everyone who told me I look too healthy to have the disease or questioned if I missed eating sweets, I would be a rich woman.)

So, I’d like to petition the media to be more thoughtful in their coverage of diabetes. I’d like to ask them to take the time to explain what type 1 and 2 really mean, and avoid relying on stereotypes for either. I’d like to challenge them to think about the millions of people who live with the condition day in and day out, and how careless reporting may negatively impact them.  I’d like to push them to proactively educate the public and use their influence to raise awareness about diabetes.

I know I’m not the first one to make this plea and I certainly won’t be the last. Until the media consistently covers diabetes in an accurate and informative way, you can bet that we, the undersigned, will keep pleading.


3 responses to “Diabetes Blog Week Day 2: We, The Undersigned

  1. Media misinformation really gets under my skin, too… probably because I’m in that field. I understand the issues journalism and newspapers face, but it’s no excuse for the lack of reporting and understanding that is in so many articles that get published. I’m a fan of what the Diabetes Advocates group has been doing to help work with media more on the front-end, and hopefully we’ll see more good stories and information. It’s certainly gotten better than it used to be many years ago, but we have a long way to go. Thanks for writing this!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Mike! I’m sure that as someone in the field, it is especially frustrating to see careless reporting. I love what the Diabetes Advocates are doing as well and hope we’ll see a positive shift in coverage soon.

  2. Jenifer M. Hernandez

    Who makes Lantus? let me look….Sanofi! It’s a little nip picky thing, but their insert pamphlet only has an over weight afro-american woman and 2 old people. Can you add a thin white girl too?! It just kind of bugs me. Oh, and that dumb doctor who told me that hispanics and predisposed to diabetes – “My maiden name is Miller and I have freckles…” doc.

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