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[IP] Re: (IP)Annoyed with Girl Scout Badge Requirement
Here's a copy of the letter I'm sending to the Girl Scouts. Does it sound
okay to everyone here?
Activity number 6 for A Healthier You Junior Badge is to list ways that
diseases can be prevented. Diabetes is one of the diseases listed. As a
type 1 (Juvenile) diabetic, I can tell you - IT CAN NOT BE PREVENTED, NO
MATTER WHAT YOU DO!!
I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 5 and know many people who were
diagnosed even earlier. No way could I or my parents have done anything
differently and prevented the diabetes.
There are two different types of diabetes (which is not even mentioned in
your instructions). Type 1 (which used to be referred to as Juvenile
Diabetes) and type 2 (which used to be referred to as Adult Onset
Diabetes). The majority of diabetics are type 2 - which is actually totally
different than type 1. In diabetes, a person's pancreas quits producing
insulin or slows down in the production of insulin. Type 1 diabetes is
where the pancreas no longer produces any insulin and the person must be
started on insulin via injections, to make up for it. (Insulin is the
product in the body that breaks down the sugar that you eat). In type 2
diabetes, the body usually does not completely stop making insulin, but
does not produce enough insulin for the person to live without taking
medications to help produce more insulin.
All of the advertisements you see on TV, etc. about "preventing" diabetes
-- such as keeping your weight under control - refer to type 2 diabetes.
Yes, overweight adults have a higher risk of developing diabetes than those
of perfect proportions, but NOT EVERY OVERWEIGHT ADULT HAS DIABETES AND NOT
EVERY PERFECTLY PROPORTIONED PERSON DOES NOT HAVE DIABETES.
The website www.childrenwithdiabetes.com has lots of RELIABLE information
on diabetes in children - which CAN NOT be prevented.
What is an 11-year-old girl, who happens to have diabetes, and also happens
to be about 5 pounds overweight, going to think when she starts doing this
project? She's going to think the diabetes is her fault - AND IT'S NOT!!!
Then, because Girl Scouts taught her that she's diabetic because she is
overweight - she's possibly going to go on a starvation diet, to lose
weight so that maybe she can also "lose" the diabetes - and going to make
herself VERY SICK - because Girl Scouts taught her it's her fault she has
And actually, NONE of the diseases you have listed can ALWAYS be prevented.
There are steps to take to reduce the risk -- but they can not be 100%
I think you are giving the Girl Scouts the wrong idea with this project.
Debra L. Graves
Type 1 diabetes since the age of 5
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