Post-Gym Observations: ADA’s Faux Paz Could be Fatal

I have returned from the gym, triumphant (!) -– having learned that after a week-and-a-half of slouching, I am not totally out of shape. In fact, I worked out harder than ever, like a maniac even, thinking of Kerri all the while with tears in my eyes. Ugh…

Now I see that the news is spreading that Richard Kahn, the chief scientific and medical officer with the American Diabetes Association (ADA), has managed a foot-in-mouth of gargantuan proportions in stating that “sugar has nothing to do with diabetes.” (wtF?!)

In an interview with a publication called Corporate Crime Reporter, Kahn was busy defending the ADA’s recent “multi-million dollar alliance” with Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, when he actually said: “What is the evidence that sugar itself has anything to do with diabetes? There is no evidence.” Foot_mouth_1

When I finished choking on my post-gym energy bar, I collected my thoughts on this idiocy. Here they are:

1) The debate now in full swing is whether sugar causes diabetes. No, and yes. Not in and of itself. But yes, we westerners eat far too much “sugar-laden crap,” and that diet DOES have SOMETHING to do with diabetes.

2) If the ADA truly believes there is nothing wrong with its Cadbury Schweppes alliance, why is Kahn backpaddling this way? Clearly, the man is intelligent enough to know how dubious the Cadbury-ADA sponsorship appears, even if it is a win-win situation for the two organizations involved.

3) Being a diabetic in America, the ADA is “my advocacy organization” by default. They do many good things. But I am quickly losing respect for their leadership! Remember folks, a number of celebrity sports coaches have been FIRED for less stupid remarks than Kahn’s. I think his head should roll! Anybody else?

(Oh, and #4 – I’m supposed to be writing a white paper on object-oriented technology right now, but am utterly distracted by searching the ADA site for a potential apology or retraction of Kahn’s statement. Nothing yet… )

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8 Responses

  1. Pat
    Pat May 18, 2005 at 4:08 pm | | Reply

    I don’t know if his head should roll for this comment. My take is no (people say stupid things all the time), but that is just my opinion…
    But as far as whether the ADA should accept money from Cadbury Schweppes, here is somthing to ponder. A few years back when my son was diagnosed with peanut allergies, I found that an association of Peanut growers in the south were providing funds for peanut allergy research. At the same time, they were lobbying Washington to derail legislation which would have banned peanuts on airline flights (a reaction at 35,000 feet is not be good).
    The analogy isn’t perfect, but the point I am trying to make is that it may be ‘blood money’ and I may have difficulty on plane flights with my son, but if the donation generates research that produces a cure for peanut allergies, then why not…
    Reality is that Cadbury Schweppes isn’t going away…anyway, just my thoughts…

  2. Shannon Lewis
    Shannon Lewis May 18, 2005 at 4:25 pm | | Reply

    What would people think of the American Lung Association if they accepted money for research from Philip Morris?

  3. pat
    pat May 18, 2005 at 4:46 pm | | Reply

    I don’t know what people would think about tobacco.
    I understand what you are saying, but personally I’m glad that the peanut growers association is thinking about the allergies and I’m glad that Cadbury Schweppes is thinking about diabetes. Other may feel different…

  4. Kathleen Weaver
    Kathleen Weaver May 18, 2005 at 6:23 pm | | Reply

    Remember a couple of other things:

    Cadberry Schweppes DOES make sugar free and sugar reduced products.

    Their forms of sugar taste much better than glucose tablets when you need to treat a low.

  5. type1dad
    type1dad May 19, 2005 at 11:24 am | | Reply

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Phillip Morris was giving money to the American Cancer Society or the American Lung Association. My take is that for Type 1′s at least sugar didn’t cause their condition. In fact as another commented sugar can be helpful to treat lows. Also, my fairly newly diabetic household drinks a hell of alot of diet soda. ADA is also touting Kool Aid Jammers 10 but the company hasn’t taken any of their other high sugar varieties off the shelf.

  6. Shannon Lewis
    Shannon Lewis May 19, 2005 at 12:15 pm | | Reply

    You all bring up good points, but this all just doesn’t sit right with me. It’s instinctually wrong to me in my humble opinion. Sugar can be a diabetic’s friend, especially to those with type 1. Lord knows my son has benefitted from glucose tabs and juice boxes to treat his lows.

  7. AmyT
    AmyT May 19, 2005 at 1:10 pm | | Reply

    Shannon,
    I’m not sure I get your meaning. What didn’t sit right with you? Was it Kahn’s statement, or people’s defense of the Cadbury alliance?

    Just trying to understand your take here…

  8. Shannon Lewis
    Shannon Lewis May 19, 2005 at 1:30 pm | | Reply

    The alliance.

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