November is Diabetes Awareness month…or American Diabetes Month…or National Diabetes Month…whichever you prefer to call it.
Not everyone is in to advocacy. Not everyone wants to put extra effort into bringing about awareness of this condition to the public, to loved ones, to anyone who cares enough to stop and listen just because the government has declared that people should pay attention to those of us with this lovely, time-consuming, life altering condition….
I get that. I’m good with that.
But I have a little problem when people continue to separate themselves into categories and act as though this month is dedicated more to one type over another.
This was in a recent blog about this particular “awareness” effort:
And speaking of well-branded organizations, there’s another point I’d like to make about Diabetes Month: the audience is so broad – type 1, type 2, friends and family, those at risk, etc. – that it’s nearly impossible to speak to all of them at once. I was reminded of this when I saw a new campaign launched recently about America Gets Cooking to Stop Diabetes… Well, folks, that clearly is not even in the realm of possibility when it comes to my diabetes. Sure, I can share, but that’s a particularly polarizing message and leaves too many of us out of the picture during a month that is supposed to “belong” to us?
For those who don’t know, this campaign is:
America Gets Cooking to Stop Diabetes, presented by Sun Life Financial, is an initiative designed to engage people to live a more active and healthier lifestyle, and will empower people to cook nutritious and delicious food, and encourage them to be more active. Each week, the Association will share healthy cooking tips, diabetes and nutrition facts, recipe ideas and more. There will also be a weekly poll where people will vote for their favorite seasonal foods and flavors and the Association will unveil winning picks to create America’s most popular healthy holiday meal.
Can I ask how America Gets Cooking to Stop Diabetes leaves out an entire group of people? Could this lovely, insightful blogger be suggesting that only type 2s need to learn how to eat properly and be more active? Is she suggesting that only the obese, stereotypical people who give everyone else with diabetes such a bad rep, are the only ones represented by this campaign?
Once again, a strong voice in diabetes advocacy is drawing a line in the sand, pointing fingers, and separating all of us into pigeon holes that not all of us can fit into.
Why is this blogger stepping back, washing her hands of the effort, when this would be a great time to point out to those involved with America Gets Cooking that, although healthy eating habits are awesome for those us trying to control our blood sugar, that this approach might send the wrong message to people who believe in the stereotypes. Instead, this blogger just gives up, throws in the towel, and whines about being “left out”.
Gee, I guess now she knows how the rest of us feel.