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RE: [IP] NYTimes.com Article: A Guessing Game to Rally the Diabetic Child

Sheila wrote:
>What are the psychological aspects of losing the game?  
>And also, with a video game you can quit when you want 
>to or when you are bored with it........Diabetes can't 
>be treated that way.  

That was my reaction, too. It seems like a bad idea
to set up a competition among diabetic children, even
if it's a competition over understanding of the disease,
rather than actual control. (Note, also that these 
"children" are 13-15 years old, plenty old enough to
figure out a way to falsify the results to win the

The business of predicting blood sugars is weird, 
especially if it only "counts" if you're in range.
That means that the player will *always* predict 
that she or he is in target range, since no other
prediction will earn points.

I guess that if you get sick, are about to get your
period, or are under a lot of stress, you'll lose 
the game.

>It sounds good at first but there 
>doesn't seem to be any reward that a child could 
>appreciate.  Adults can appreciate good health but 
>how many kids do you know that go around swinging a 
>banner of good health?

I agree. I think that even for adults, the best
way to convince people to take better care of them-
selves -- whatever behavior is at issue -- is to
focus on the immediate benefits rather than abstract
or longterm benefits (which are potential, anyway).

/Janet Lafler
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