On My Own

A Personal Journal
by Davood Denavi

Response: We can’t allow the food and beverage industry to destroy our kids’ health

With today being my birthday I decided to hold this response because the topic of Senator Bernie Sanders’ article on USAToday.com back in December hit particularly close to home for me since my grandfather was diagnosed with diabetes when he went to enlist in the United States Army during the draft leading into World War II. 

He died while taking a nap back during the summer of 1999. Unfortunately, I was only 11 years old and did not get much of a chance to be close with my grandfather because he had been working my entire childhood until approximately a year before that when my grandmother became wheelchair-bound as a result of smoking most of her life. 

Before I proceed, please understand that Type 2 Diabetes has many more genetic links, while Type 1 diabetes is only linked to genetics approximately ten percent of the time. As a result, I agree with Bernie that both the Type 2 Diabetes epidemic and the Obesity epidemic are big problems with healthcare in the United States. 

However, it was a couple of years later when my mom was taking me to the doctor for my yearly checkup she asked me if there was anything I wanted to have the doctors test me for. I responded, “Yes, mom I want to be tested for diabetes.” I have since been tested for Type 2 diabetes every single year. 

The obesity epidemic has been a problem for a really long time and thanks to many factors has led to other health related epidemics including the Type 2 Diabetes epidemic which Sanders discusses in his article. Sadly, I see people in my age group on a daily basis feeding kids they are with junk food and I turn a blind eye to it. In reality, I am not turning a blind eye. I am simply choosing not to publicly judge them since I do not know them. 

While obesity does not necessarily cause someone to be diabetic it also does not help individuals avoid becoming diabetic. I see it as a huge problem in the healthcare system which is only hurt by all of the advertisements kids see for the fast food chains. 

I am by no means suggesting that the solution is solely on advertisers and fast food chains to stop advertising to kids here. The truth, however,  is that if the number of advertisements for fast food and junk food decreased obesity would decline and chances are so would the number of Type 2 Diabetes diagnoses. Another thing that would possibly help these two epidemics reach endemic levels would be if adults fed their kids healthier foods more often.