When you go in to your local Walgreens, Rite-Aid, CVS or the like, do you find racks of those colorful but flimsy little throw-away diabetes magazines staring at you? Do you ever pick them up and look through them? Well I just can’t help myself. And often times, they make me really mad.
Last month, for example, I picked up a copy of something called Diabetes Health Monitor, which brags on the cover that it’s “favorably reviewed” by the AADE. I flipped through it and found some things that just seemed to be sending the wrong messages to PWDs.
First off, in a diet section called “Tasty Alternatives to Your Favorites” — supposedly about cutting back on carbs — one of three recipes featured was for “Cajun Chicken Over Fettuccine.” Carb count? 66 grams per serving. Why on Earth would an article on low-carb eating promote fettuccine?
Likewise, in a section on “Valentine’s Day Without the Sweets,” the magazine recommends so-called “Blueberry bouquets.” The idea is to “gather some blueberries, and add some raspberries, strawberries, grapes and a few melon balls. Skewer them on slender wooden sticks… and ‘plant’ them in a cantaloupe” for a healthy bouquet. Hello?! Hasn’t anyone over there got the memo about what a fruit-bomb like that does to your blood glucose if you have diabetes? I know the audience for these pubs is primarily Type 2s, but even they would need a good two-hour walk to burn down this kind of fructose-induced BG spike, I’d imagine.
Finally, even the cover story was pretty hard to swallow. It featured an obviously overweight family practice physician in Wichita Falls, TX, who recently had an epiphany when he got diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes himself. “I know the how and why of diabetes,” he writes. “It’s just that they applied to my patients, not me. I’ve told hundreds how to watch their diet, keep their weight down, see their eye doctor frequently, and check their feet for infections. Now that I’m the patient, I know how tough it is for them to follow those instructions. I like to eat… I never saw a cookie I didn’t like.”
I know I ought to be thankful for such true confessions. But all this story did for me was remind me of how common this is: hundreds of doctors out there across the country preaching at diabetes patients to eat right, live right, and be extremely disciplined, while they’re indulging away without a care in the world. It just frustrates the heck out of me to think of how many physicians really haven’t got a clue what their “instructions” mean for real people in real life.
Needless to say, I now grimace and look the other way when I see those “free copy” diabetes pubs winking at me in the pharmacy. Have any of you found anything valuable there, by chance?