Posted by: Ophelia | June 5, 2008

Spotted on “The View” today

Sherri started talking about her battle with type 2 diabetes and her subsequent diet change and weight loss. That’s fair enough, although she didn’t specify that it was type 2–and type 1 diabetes can not be controlled by diet. But I’ll let that one slide. My issue came when they asked her to stand up and compared her body to how it looked a year ago–I thought the weight loss was for her health, not her looks? Barbara Walters seemed most interested in how Sherri lost the weight, and Sherri offered diet changes such as cutting out fried foods and starchy foods–Joy quipped that she eats the same way and didn’t lose a pound. So, Sherri was heavy because of her diet, and that’s fine, its a fact–thats cool. However, when it comes to obesity the public likes to lump everyone together. The notion that people are only overweight because of their diets is stupid, but prevalent and allows people to place themselves in judgment of total strangers. Her advice about diet change for blood sugar was fine but it extended to “this is a way to lose weight” territory that all diet advice seems to go towards nowadays. Don’t you want to be thin, I mean, healthy?

Then of course there’s the notion that if you’re overweight, you must not have your blood sugar under control that irks me as well. It was a well intentioned segment but, I could do without generalized advice for specific problems. A run down of common symptoms and treatments would have been welcomed, but it was pretty obvious that they weren’t really talking about diabetes.

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Responses

  1. Ugh. This falls under the ‘not helping’ category in so many ways. We shouldn’t be trying to convince women that looks come first, nor that being slim necessarily denotes health. We also shouldn’t promote this type of ‘I can diagnose you based on body type, despite not being a doctor, so let me judge you’ mentality. And we should STOP conflating the beauty industry with medicine. Yes, most people probably should make some diet change for their health (we all eat too much sugar, slim or not) – but trying to turn it into a beauty issue confuses and even hurts the message, because crash diets do not make you healthy, and a full figure often has nothing to do with an irresponsible lifestyle. Argh.

  2. I would like to second habladora’s comment.

    Also, the lack of specification of diabetes type got to me. I’ve heard the “Oh! But you’re not fat!” line enough times (after people found out I had TYPE 1 diabetes) to make me wanna puke.


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