Poking Fun at How Our Media Reports on Preventative Health
Fellow students in a course in the Plant Based Nutrition Certification program at Cornell University suggested I share the below paper. (Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?)
After hearing a lecture on Calories, Obesity, and Diabetes by T. Colin Campbell (author of The China Study) we were asked to use information from the lecture and write a brief editorial targeting a health article or advertisement in a current magazine. Our editorial should challenge the information and recommend a better strategy.
For those too young to be familiar with AARP, it’s aimed at the over 55 crowd and claims to be the “world’s largest circulation magazine.”
Letter to the editor: AARP Magazine
I was delighted to see the article “Reduce Your Diabetes Risk” in your November/December 08 issue. The article mentions that 57 million Americans have prediabetes and most people don’t know they have it. What a tremendous service educating your readers with specific tips from experts.
As I read it I was stunned to find “Mind your Meat” as the first tip, suggesting small portions of lean meat and removing skin from chicken and turkey. Study after study shows a plant-based, low-fat diet gives the best results for reversing diabetes. For example, a study at the Pritikin Center shows spectacular results with a low-fat plant-based diet and exercise. They found that out of the 40 dietetic patients on medications at the start of their program, 34 were able to discontinue all medications after only 26 days. This and other data was completely ignored in this article.
Another tip from the expert is to skim the fat from dairy products. If the above results achieved by eliminating animal products were so positive, then why would you encourage the consumption of dairy? As I thumbed through the rest of your magazine it became clear . . . a full-page advertisement for Niuragen PN with the heading “Diabetic Nerve Pain?” If readers maintain their illness, pharmaceutical companies find the perfect target audience with your readers.
At the end of the article, two of the three books to “Educate Yourself” are a laugh. Diabetes for Dummies (need I say more), and Living with Diabetes about management, monitoring, and medications. These would be perfect reading if you want to maintain the disease, rather than avoid it.
May I be bold enough to make a couple of recommendations to your readers who are serious about their health? An excellent book, Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes and the new documentary “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days” can be both found at Amazon.com.