What We Can Learn About Diabetes from Scottish Television

Earlier this fall, a series of ads ran on Scottish TV that made a lot of viewers angry. In each ad, a mother was shown giving her child a piece of chocolate or another sugary snack. The child then turned to the camera and delivered a warning that he will be more likely to get diabetes if he is overweight.

Being overweight is, in fact, a risk factor for getting diabetes. So what was all the backlash about? Well, the ad failed to discern between the two most common types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) used to be known as “juvenile diabetes” because it most often affects children and young adults. T1D is completely unrelated to a kid’s diet. Parents of diabetic children in Scotland were rightfully outraged that the TV ads implied that eating chocolate was a cause of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. For reasons unknown, the body’s ability to produce insulin is destroyed. Sufferers of T1D must inject themselves with this vital hormone on a daily basis. There is no way to prevent or cure this life-threatening disease.

Type 2 Diabetes

In contrast, Type 2 diabetes (T2D) affects adults who have developed a resistance to insulin. The body produces insulin but doesn’t use it well, resulting in dangerously high levels of blood sugar. Blood sugar levels can be well managed through diet, exercise, and, prescription medications.

There are almost 30 million Americans who have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes – and that’s a concern for all of us at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland. Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann are not here to judge you about having diabetes or to shame you about what you eat, like those offensive TV ads. The risks of both types of diabetes to your feet can be devastating, and that’s why we strongly encourage diabetics to visit our office regularly. We can detect and treat foot wounds before they become serious threats; we trim nails properly and safely; and, we examine your feet for signs of complications like nerve damage.

Contact us at our office in the Cleveland suburb of Solon, Ohio. Make an appointment online or call us at (440) 903-1041.