10 June 2011

If I were interviewing the American Diabetes Association regarding the Steve-O situation

I wasn't happy with TMZ's reportage of the American Diabetes Association's response to Steve-O's criticism of their Celebrity Go Kart Tournament. TMZ's coverage of the reply begins and ends with a short paraphrasing of an unnamed American Diabetes Association representative. Essentially: "there is no rule that you can't eat meat if you have diabetes -- every person is different, and should be on a meal plan that works for them." I wanted more depth, so I contacted the Diabetes Association.

On Tuesday I sent a lengthy inquiry to the askADA email address. They put me in touch with Mary Hewitt, whom I have yet to be able to contact by telephone (after spending all this time figuring out how to transcribe telephone conversations, no less). Perhaps that's because she's based in California, I'm at the opposite end of the continent, and I work evenings. That said, my problem's not with the ADA: it's with the lack of apparent questions in TMZ's reporting.

Here are some questions I would have asked. I'm sure you can add some of your own in the comments section below.

What sorts of foods were being served at The Celebrity Go Kart Tournament? Did these all meet the guidelines set by the American Diabetes Association?

TMZ paraphrased a representitive from the American Diabetes association as saying "there is no rule that you can't eat meat if you have diabetes -- every person is different, and should be on a meal plan that works for them." Was that response based on studies or scientific evidence?

I am curious as to what the American Diabetes Association's position is on vegetarian and vegan diets. I've found information hosted on your association's website that emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and I've also found a paper hosted on your association's website that suggests a vegan diet may play a large role in glucose control and heart health in patients with type 2 diabetes. What is the Assocaition's position on vegan or vegetarian diets? Is your association reccommending or discouraging these diets in any way for people with diabetes?

In light of all this, do you think the American Diabetes Association will keep the issues Steve-O raised in mind when planning future events?

If anyone at the American Diabetes Association wishes to answer any of these questions, I invite them to do so.

Michael Schnier
Michael went vegan in May of 2010 while shopping for his weekly groceries. Michael is a communications studies undergrad at Carleton University and spends too much of his time arguing on the internet. When not butting heads, Michael can be found reading Vertigo comics, listening to the Smiths, and writing bad poetry. Follow Michael on his Tumblr blog.

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