More Harm Than Good?
Does the latest JDRF Frosty fundraiser really help anyone?
By Travis Grubbs
November 2009 — Do you ever read something, or hear something, that seems so absurd, but appears to be so acceptable to society, that you question your own perspective or sanity? I realize that this is a very heavy question, but it is a serious inquiry, and I have faced this question myself on a few occasions. This recently occurred (again) when I learned about a Wendy's Hamburger Franchise and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) once again participating in the Frosty Coupon Book Campaign. The flier I down loaded (from the greater Austin, Texas area) states "$1 for every coupon book sold will benefit JDRF." Holders of these coupons can receive four free 12 oz. Frosties or $1 off any other frosty product.
Being a person with type 2 diabetes I cannot help but roll my eyes and think this is just what we need in a society where type 2 diabetes is running at epidemic levels among adults and children, and obesity is becoming a fashion statement. Don't take my word for it. You can see this for yourself by visiting your local Wal-Mart. Look for the folks with stomachs that are sagging inches over their belts or waistbands. Look for the bulging kids wandering up and down the candy and cookie aisles (while trying to step around the scooter riders.
I learned about the JDRF Frosty Fundraiser in a discussion at www.tudiabetes.com. Some of the sentiments I read were in line with "It's ok to support this fundraiser because people are going to buy this stuff anyway. At least they will be supporting a great cause." I agree that JDRF is a great cause. I disagree that we should support activities that tempt people to buy products that are bad for them.
If a business wants to contribute to JDRF, then let them write a check! Why must they sell additional products in order to support JDRF? And if they must peg their support to future sales, why can't they promote products that people with type 1 and type 2 can safely consume, as well as the majority of the population? And I am not talking about salads! Why can't they promote desserts such as low-carb or no-sugar-added ice cream (also available at Wal-Mart)? Think outside the box!
If our actions are doing anything, we are helping greedy merchants peddle their harmful products to the public when we participate in such fundraisers. I think it's time to for us to stop and think about such fundraising strategies, and to stop being used by others. The diabetic community should show respect for itself by only participating in fundraisers that do not negatively contribute to another risk group. Let's stop trying to solve one problem by contributing to another.<
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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Years before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, The Other Half came out of a doctor's appointment with a diagnosis of "borderline diabetes" and an ADA exchange diet sheet. His health insurance agency followed up on the diagnosis with a glucometer and test strips. After a year or so of trying to follow the diet plan and test his glucose levels, things appeared to be back in "normal" range, and stood there until a couple of years after my own diagnosis. Shortly...