The wider media perception of diabetes is that it's not necessarily all that serious, that everyone who has it does so through their own fault, and that by eating less sugar it's all entirely preventable. For people living with the condition, it's both insulting and intimidating. Attaching that level of stigma to a chronic illness is very irresponsible and can lead to people withdrawing, being scared to talk about their condition and not managing it correctly.
Overnight (in the UK, during the day across the pond), it continued to rumble on. There's something quite unsettling about watching an organisation who are clearly in the wrong continue to try and justify and defend their behaviour:
Firstly, as you can see above, "offending the sensitive" is apparently a small price to pay to ill-inform people. For the record, I personally don't believe drinking excess amounts of anything is particularly good for you, not least Coca Cola. But I also know that obesity is the link to Type 2 diabetes. Excessive sugar consumption will most likely lead to obesity, in the same way that excessive consumption of anything calorific will do. Eating sugar does not directly cause diabetes of any type. Eating (or drinking) 'treat' foods (those higher in fat and sugar) should be done so in moderation. Eating fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meat and some carbs is a balanced healthy diet. But I say again, you can't get diabetes from eating sugar.
At the time of writing this, I've not seen an actual apology from CrossFit for the way they misrepresented the facts. They did post a few (subsequently deleted) tweets saying it should have been clear they were only talking about Type 2 diabetes. It wasn't clear, and it certainly wouldn't really have been any more accurate anyway.
When they say "the link between sugar and Type 2 diabetes is undeniable", they really should be talking about the link between obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
The also posted this on Twitter (highlighting that they absolutely haven't apologised):
I don't need an apology to make me feel better. I know enough about diabetes to not need their validation or permission to do what I want. I do want them to apologise for being lazy and irresponsible with their language that perpetuates the stigma of diabetes.
There's a reasonable chance you're reading this because you know me in some way, so you've probably read a lot of the science that distinguishes between Type 1 and Type 2 and nodded along. Other people with a lot less experience of diabetes (like me 15 years ago!) simply do not know (and we shouldn't necessarily expect them to know) the difference, and are likely to be guided by the 'facts' that companies like CrossFit have misrepresented over the last 24 hours or so.
CrossFit - #ImNotYourHomie