The year is 1955. Or, maybe 1960. Somebody is sitting at their desk in their office, or at home, and decides to fight Big Tobacco. Think about the audacity that it took. Cigarette and tobacco advertising was everywhere. On the radio. Sponsoring sporting events. In magazines, newspapers, television…it was ubiquitous! (I have always wanted to use that word in a sentence!) But, there had to be one person someplace who decided enough was enough. And look what happened? Tobacco consumption plummeted and instead of smoking being socially acceptable, it’s now seen at the very least as rude and is generally unacceptable.
Who caused this to happen? I don’t know. Their name may be lost to history. Can you imagine Tobacco company’s reaction to learning about this person’s campaign? Derision and laughter. They had all of the money. They had the public’s attention. They had the high ground – an almost impenetrable fortress, if you were looking at it from below.
I know you must be wondering what tobacco is doing in a blog about Diabetes, right? Well, as always, if you will just bear with me, all will be made clear shortly.
Did you know that it wasn’t until 1965 that the Surgeon General put a warning on cigarette packages. 1965! I won’t pretend to know the story behind that, but it must be a great one. If anyone knows, please share it. Can you imagine a product being persuaded or forced to put on a health warning about its use? It all started with one person.
So, what made me write about tobacco? I came across this article about the recent ad campaign showing the effects of smoking and how effective it had been. The result of the ads – 100,000 people stopped smoking. Pretty impressive. The fight against smoking started because someone declared War. Some person, some place. And, that person gave us and our children a better world. We have been able to inherit a healthier world.
All of this reminded me of a reaction I received when I spoke with a well known Diabetes Control researcher and writer. Control. He serves those who have Diabetes and does it very, very well. When he asked me what I wanted to do, I told him that I wanted to eradicate; to destroy Diabetes, as well as provide assistance to those, like myself, who have it.
“You want to eradicate Diabetes?”
“Yes. It has to be done.”
I was met with a few moments of silence followed by chuckling. Clearly I must not understand the disease. Clearly I don’t understand people. Clearly I just don’t get it. Now, to be honest, he didn’t say that, but he did chuckle and left me with that impression.
Maybe I don’t fully understand it; I learn something new about it almost everyday. And, everything I learn only reinforces that the disease must be beat; that the battle must be fought and won.
In all of my reading, talking and correspondence with people I have NEVER heard anyone say, “I want my child to grow up to be a diabetic; I want my child to have Diabetes.” And, yet by not teaching them about a smart balanced diet and the value of physical activity, that’s exactly what we are saying to them. By not giving them an example to follow, we might be unwittingly showing them the path to Diabetes.
Just as with tobacco, there is a lot of money put into the advertising of fast food, candy, and anything processed and sweetened. Every time you turn around there’s an enticing ad for sweet drinks and fast food. Do you really believe that lives will be happier if we drink a certain soda pop? Will holidays be better? Will world peace suddenly happen because we all take a sip of a certain soda pop? Of course not…and, yet we kind of hope, don’t we? Such is the power of advertising and suggestion.
The fight will not be easy. And, it will not begun to be won until the growth of Diabetes is reversed and a practical cure for Type 2 Diabetes is discovered. But, the War On Diabetes must be started; fought creatively; made to be fun, and engaged at a personal level.
The war must be fought. Will it cost money? Yes. Will it be a long war? Not a doubt. Will it take creative people to fight it? Oh, yeah. Will it take enthusiasm and dedication? Yep. Will it be effective? Failure is not an option – not if we want to leave our Children with the inheritance of health – and don’t they deserve that?
I believe Diabetes can be beat…do you?
As always, thank you for reading.