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The Diabetes “Lifestyle”

I just ran across this item in the LA Times.  Chris Rock was right; they don’t want to cure anything… all drug dealers know that the money’s in the comeback.

But the independently produced show, which airs weekly as paid programming on CNBC, stands on a single theme. It is all about, and for, diabetics – and believed to be the only television show built around a specific disease. All of the ads are for diabetes-related products, such as specially formulated food supplements and insulin testing strips.

“Diabetics are not just patients, they are consumers,” Steinberg said of the appeal of his show, “dLife – For Your Diabetes Life,” which claims nearly half a million viewers.

“From a business perspective, diabetes is the perfect disease,” said David Kliff, a diabetic and investment analyst who specializes in diabetes-related ventures. Diabetics “consume tons of disposable products, and there is no cure. It is a license to print money.”

Healthcare advocates see in the trend a glaring sign that the country is losing its battle against the epidemic, with the most common form, Type 2, closely linked to unhealthful diets and lifestyles.

“Our society and our medical community has basically thrown up their hands and decided it is too hard to get people to lead healthier lives, and it is easier to push drugs,” said Michael Jacobsen, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

This story made me think of two things:

1) The adoption of the term “lifestyle” to represent someone living with an illness.  We hear this on the ‘net in discussions of “pro-ana” websites that consider anorexia not a disease, but a “lifestyle choice”.  Now we have a “diabetes lifestyle”.  I wondered how much gay folks, who are often tarred with the “lifestyle choice” brush, feel about homosexuality, diabetes, and anorexia being called “lifestyles”.

2) I imagine a similar industry springing up around AIDS.  Already there are those few who can afford the “cocktail” of retrovirals and other AIDS treatments.  I bet in the future AIDS will be like diabetes – you’ll buy your test kit, it’ll count your T-cells, and you’ll take some regular treatment for it.

That’s all for now.  I must return to my, er, “cybererotica appreciation and self-abuse lifestyle”.

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