Diabetes reporting in newspapers

By | 11 October, 2011
Tomorrow's fish and chip wrappings, today

Tomorrow's fish and chip wrappings, today

Discussing newspaper articles on the blog is becoming so formulaic that this dog has resorted to a form style of reporting:

An article in [insert newspaper title] published yesterday reported on [the rising diabetes epidemic / a new miracle cure / the cost to the NHS of diabetes] (delete as applicable). The reporter [confused type one and type two / didn’t realise there are different types of diabetes / was entirely misinformed] and reported that all diabetes is caused by [self-inflicted lifestyle choices / eating burgers / eating sweets / evil supermarkets / evil McDonalds].

The article then went on to note that diabetes costs the NHS [£5 billion a year / £50 billion a year / £1 zillion quintillion a year] per taxpayer and this could be remedied by [healthy eating / a tax on high fat foods (like what they’ve done in Sweden) / exercise of self-restraint by bloated, waddling diabetics].

If reporting on a cure, the article noted that [it would revolutionise diabetes care overnight / the cure was available immediately / would cost £1 zillion quintillion per year when cheap ‘non-designer’ cures were already available]. The article failed to mention that the cure [only worked on mice in limited cases / was ten years from possible fruition / had no hope of ever being used by humans].

The article concluded with a short quote from [Diabetes UK / JDRF / NHS] designed to lend gravitas but which actually contradicted everything the report had said so far by pointing out the report is [unrealistic / unfeasible / complete bollocks]. However this pseudo-disclaimer [was tucked inconspicuously at the end of the article / misquoted Diabetes UK] and so was ignored by everyone reading the article.

The diabetes community was said to be [ticked off / irritated / incandescent with rage] and was planning to [organise an online petition / write an email to the newspaper editor / leave comments at the bottom on the online edition]. It was reckoned this would have [very limited effect / no effect / completely no effect] on the accuracy of diabetes-related reporting in the future.

21 thoughts on “Diabetes reporting in newspapers

  1. Mike

    It’s an encouraging read don’t you think! I especially enjoyed the bit where they cut off the Ballerinas heel! What a movie it would make! Just you wait for your Fat Taxes to come in! 🙂 Happy Days!

  2. Annette A

    I read the article in question over lunch with rising apathy. Oh look, they mentioned Type one as being different to Type two, but forgot to mention that this article therefore really is only (totally ir-) relevant to type twos.
    Sigh.

  3. Patti Evans

    What they totally failed to notice was that the powers that be are putting people at risk by advocating the high carb, low fat diet as “healthy”. Unless someone influential wakes up and realises what damage is being done by this diet then people will be at risk.

    I thought Neville’s article was spot on!

  4. Alison

    @Neville This post is genius. I think someone has been slipping fruit pastilles into your dog food.

    My favourite quote has to be “People with diabetes have a foot amputated 70 times a week in England”. I feel like I’m not hitting my quota here, I’ve not had a single foot amputated this week and looking in my diary, there’s no way I can fit in 70 amputations before Friday.

  5. Tim

    I was reading the latest copy of WIRED last night and on pg147 there was a description of diabetes that not only differentiated type one and two but also explained *exactly* how type one works. Gold star for WIRED!

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