In the first of its kind campaign the ADA, AMA, and CDC released a series of Ad Council public service announcements aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes. The campaign is called So…Do I Have Prediabetes?
Boy did they miss the mark.
The campaign takes on a snarky tone. Now, I’ve been known to enjoy a snarky joke as much as the next person. But this snark is aimed at the patient, that just adds to the blame and shame people living with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, already face.
You eat bacon? Well, don’t. It’s a variation on the “Eat 100 candy bars and what do you get?” joke. We’ve all heard the punch line: Diabetes!
Only, it’s not true and it’s hateful. And when people feel blamed for their health or shamed for their behavior that disempowers them to change. Don’t believe that? Listen to what the research of Jane K. Dickinson, CDE has to say.
And what if you’re a busy mom?
Well, this busy mom doesn’t appreciate the sentiment. Yeah, busy-ness is a common excuse. I’ll cop to using it myself once or twice. Okay! I used it for about a million years while I was in pre-diabetes.
The doctor’s response to the patient saying she’s a busy mom made me think of this:
Lucy van Pelt pulling the football away at the last moment yet again and the ever trusting Charlie Brown taking a tumble mid-kick.
I don’t want my doctor to be paying a cruel joke on me. And I don’t want to end up the looser in this scenario.
But more damning is the image that comes to my mind when I reflect on what the busy mom says. Her distress is real. And yet her words come off more like this:
And this is just plain wrong.