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American Diabetes Association Launches Provocative Ad Campaign Featuring a Ticking Time Bomb to Get Congress to Take Action

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:11pm

Now this is fascinating. The ADA just launched an attention-grabbing one-month ad campaign, entittled "The Clock is Ticking," to nab the attention of members of Congress so they'll take some much-neeeded action, including research and prevention funding.

Get ready to see a series of ads featuring the image of a ticking time bomb and stating: "Every 21 Seconds Another American is Diagnosed with Diabetes. The Clock is Ticking."

Then, the ads direct readers to a new website www.diabetes.org/21seconds, which outlines specific actions the ADA believes Congress should take to fight diabetes.

Wow, just listen to what these ads will be like: One ad, as the ADA announcement noted, features the ticking time bomb (as mentioned earlier). Another portrays a prosthetic leg with text that states "82,000 Americans Lost a Leg Because of Diabetes Last Year. It's Crippling America." And the third ad shows a coffin, with the copy: "224,092 Americans Die From Diabetes Related Illnesses Each Year."

The ADA plans to strategically place these in print and online publications, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, The Hill, National Journal, and Roll Call.

They urge Congress to:

  • Increased federal funding for diabetes research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and diabetes treatment and prevention efforts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Reauthorize both the Special Diabetes Program for Indians and the Special Diabetes Funding for Type 1 Diabetes, "two vital programs set to expire without Congressional reauthorization," the ADA announcement states.
  • Pass the "Americans with Disabilities Act Restoration Act," which would help end employment discrimination against Americans with diabetes.
  • Protect and expand diabetes health coverage in private insurance and entitlement programs.
  • Pass legislation to expand embryonic stem cell research, which offers great hope for a cure and better treatments for diabetes.

The ADA president was quoted in making the announcement: "The 109th Congress failed to provide the leadership necessary to fight the diabetes epidemic, most notably in its substantial under-funding of federal diabetes programs," said Larry Deeb, MD, President, Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association.

"Every year, diabetes becomes more and more prevalent. As the ads demonstrate, every 21 seconds another American is diagnosed with diabetes. That's why we're urging Congress to join us and take action before it's too late."

Frankly, I'm just not sure how I feel about my contribution to the ADA going towards this clearly very expensive campaign, whose price seems to have been omitted from the announcement. This campaign must be costing millions!

Couldn't there be another, better-priced way to nab the attention of members of Congress? Why couldn't the ADA take the same theme and hire a few people to run around near Congress with signs bearing the same provocative statements? Is a slick ad campaign really necessary?

Frankly, I'd rather my ADA donation go to educatie people.

Sure, Congress hasn't done what it should do. But I believe the ADA should be focusing its attention on educating people. The ADA should be urging people to start eating right, kick or cut back on sugar, lose weight and exercise.

Just those changes should make a powerful dent in stemming diabetes. In fact, I just read an e-mail from a new member to my free, online KickSugar group, in which she talked excitedly about how she'd been tested as diabetic, then cut out the sugar and junk food and now her doctor is amazed at the results, because she brought her blood sugar, blood pressure and liver enzyme levels back under control.

Listen to her:

"I just have made a conscious decision to avoid eating foods which obviously contain sugar (such as cookies, cakes, ice cream, all baked goods really, candy, etc.) as much as possible. I am also avoiding breads, rice, pasta, and products made from flour. I figured this would be a good place to start and from here I could continue to eliminate foods containing sugar and other processed ingredients as I felt necessary.

"I am amazed at how much better I have felt (I haven't had a headache in 4 months -- they used to be a daily occurence!) and have been able to drop close to 20 pounds as a result. I still have more to go, but I'm pleased with the results so far. Back in August I had bloodwork done and my doctor informed me I had diabetes.

"I knew that I had been binging big time on sugar and believed that I could bring my body back to health if I made better choices.I just had another round of bloodwork done and my doctor was absolutely thrilled to see that my glucose levels were now in the normal range. In addition, my high blood pressure has returned to normal (116/70 -- it had been up around 160/95!) Another concern was that I had extremely high liver enzymes and had been diagnosed with fatty liver (thanks to eating a very fast food diet in addition to the sugar... Morgan Spurlock wasn't kidding on Supersize Me!).

"In my heart I knew that if I went off sugar and changed my other food choices I could improve that as well. I did liver and colon cleanses which my doctor encouraged. She was hoping with all these concerns to just see some improvement and felt that it would take quite a while to get things back to normal. Well, my liver enzyme levels also dropped back into the normal range.

"She was completely amazed at these results and wanted to know what I'd been doing. I told her it all was pretty much the result of eliminating sugar from my diet. So I'm certainly a believer in the effects sugar can have, the havoc it can wreak on a body, and the benefits of cutting back or eliminating sugar all together.

"I'm excited to be a part of this group. I've already learned so much just reading the recent posts. I'm stopping by B&N tomorrow to see if SUGAR SHOCK! is in stock but if not I'm going to order it online. I'd just like to get it sooner if possible."

What can be more powerful than a kick-sugar testimonial like that? Now that's the kind of information that needs to get out to people!

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