12 Responses

  1. Erin
    Erin January 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm | | Reply

    Thanks for posting this. I get really upset when I see campaigns like this. I did my Master’s in Public Health and something we learned on practically day one was that scare or shame tactics (like the campaigns you highlighted) don’t work. Research has shown that again and again. It makes me wonder whose idea these campaigns were? Well-trained public health practitioners, especially those with training in behavior change, should know better than to waste money on these kinds of campaigns.

  2. Mary Fairweather Dexter
    Mary Fairweather Dexter January 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm | | Reply

    What do they accomplish? They make non-diabetics and practitioners feel noble and righteous. They perpetuate the superstition that if one lives one’s life “absolutely perfectly” and judges others harshly that nothing bad will ever happen. It works for all kinds of problems: obesity, diabetes, cancer, rape, murder, objects falling from the sky, lightning….

  3. T1 in Boston
    T1 in Boston January 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm | | Reply

    …ugh, the enormous guilt placed upon T2′s. As a T1, at least I am not blamed for being diabetic! There are plenty of T2′s in my family, and I feel for them, simply because of the mean-spiritedness exemplified by things like this ad. Don’t get me started!

  4. riva
    riva January 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm | | Reply

    I wrote about this campaign on the Huffington post a year ago when it first showed up. The city says this is education. We know it’s scare tactics and bound to fail

  5. John
    John January 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm | | Reply

    Sorry ladies and gentlemen, I must interject with some fair balance here. I am a diabetes educator and although I have great compassion for those with diabetes, what is it going to take for individuals with T2 to realize that this is a self-inflicted disease. Yes, some T2 have a genetic flaw that has led to increased beta cell burnout or insulin resistance. However, they did not gain 80 pounds overnight. It is a gradual increase that at some point was controllable. Is it difficult for someone who is 300 lbs to lose weight? Absolutely. Would it have been easier for them to begin trying to lose weight at 225 instead of waiting until 300? Absolutely. We need to stop making excuses and start doing. What should be done is create a poster of two individuals: one non-smoking in shape individual and one obese indvidual. Then beside each individual list how much money each person requires in healthcare spending every year. Want to make healthcare more affordable? Drop the weight and live a healthier life. Cmon people! Quit making excuses!

    1. Ian
      Ian January 17, 2012 at 11:49 am | | Reply

      Tend to agree with John. This campaign is no doubt blunt and very shocking – but isn’t that the point of advertising? To get everyone’s attention? To what end has our coddling of society gotten us to? Skyrocketing T2 and explosions in generally unhealthy lifestyles. I am not naive – I know these are multifaceted problems – but can we all agree what we have done in the past, has, by in large, failed? How can we effectively provide the “education, support and resources” to deal with T2 and general poor health of this country if we can’t even admit our current methods don’t deal with the problem? You can disagree that this the most effective way of dealing with the problem, but I would hope these methods wouldn’t get dismissed out of hand immediately (judging from the relatively small sample size of this website’s comment section).

  6. Erin Gilmer
    Erin Gilmer January 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm | | Reply

    Well said by all. I recently had a friend send me a picture of an ad at KFC that says “complete your meal with a mega jug, and KFC will donate $1 to JDRF” and the friend then commented “that’s just sad – fight type 1 [diabetes] by getting type 2 [diabetes]“. It is ads like the ones talked about in this post that bolster the misinformation about both types of diabetes and perpetuate stigmas. And, as aptly noted, the ads don’t actually change health behaviours. Surely a mega jug of soda isn’t a great idea for anyone, (but no matter who you are or what disease(s) you have, you should be eating healthy), but soda doesn’t cause diabetes and not drinking soda won’t stop the onset of diabetes. But according to the PSA above, sodas do cause type 2 and apparently that means certain amputation.

    I am constantly infuriated by the lack of understanding surrounding type 1 and type 2 that not only seeps into the public discourse but can in fact influence health care providers and public health advocates. I have had doctors tell me, even though I have type 1, that I should just eat better. So how can we help anyone get healthy if we continue to misinform the public? Obesity is an issue. Obesity is a factor for type 2. But it is NOT THE ONLY FACTOR and in continuing to harp on that one factor, we lose sight of what’s really important, which is to help people live healthily regardless of which disease(s) they have or may have.

    We can’t help anyone by shaming them or scaring them. We need to take the time to educate them. Which means proverbially, not skipping from A to N to W but reciting the whole alphabet.

  7. Natalie ._c-
    Natalie ._c- January 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm | | Reply

    Good job, Allison! I particularly liked the fact that you took issue with the not-so-well educated “diabetes educator” about the fact that the cause of T2 has NOT been definitively established (and it’s not just one disease, to boot!). If it were just obesity, then every fat person would have T2, and the fact is that the majority of them DON’T, and never will. And then there is the issue of “thin” or normal-weight T2s who have been proven not to be T1 or LADA by antibody testing. T2 is a VERY complicated disease, and simple-minded thinking will not solve the problem. Every year, more and more evidence comes out linking T2 to lots more problems than simple obesity, and it’s too bad that the public and media and most PCPs are totally unaware and worse, uninterested in that.

  8. T1 in Boston
    T1 in Boston January 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm | | Reply

    Wait, John, you have “great compassion for those with diabetes?” Um, hmm, can’t say it comes through in your post – wait, I’m going to read it again. Er, nope, still can’t find it… wait, I’ll try again….

  9. Melitta
    Melitta January 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm | | Reply

    Thanks, Allison, great post! These ads are horrible and do no one any good, in my opinion. Blame and shame is hardly productive. I don’t pretend to know what the answer is, but these ads surely are not it.

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