Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Diet Drink Awareness Campaign

I'm writing to support the Diet Drink Awareness Campaign. This was started by the lovely Becky of Instructions Not Included, to highlight two key issues: the lack of diet drinks available in most restaurants/fast food places/etc, and the fact that on occasion, a full-fat drink is served instead of diet. This is incredibly dangerous, as it leads to the risk of DKA (diabetes ketoacidosis), which in turn can lead to a coma and ultimately death.

Please join the Facebook group: Diet Drink Awareness Campaign!

On a personal level, I am fortunate not to have run into the issue of having a full-fat drink served to me on too many occasions; I think I only recall one. I have no issue with taking a drink back to the bar though if I suspect it could be full of sugar. The biggest problem I have found is that bar staff seem to take it personally and get offended that I'm suggesting they've done something wrong; I always explain quickly and clearly that I am a type one diabetic, and having a sugary drink could lead to all kinds of complications, and I would appreciate it if they could change the drink for me. However, I cannot highlight enough how dangerous it is to be given a full-sugar drink (and it makes me sick to my stomach that members of staff have been caught changing the diet/normal lines over "as a joke" - read about it over at Samantha's blog, Talking Blood Glucose).

My (again, personal) BIG issue is the lack of choice available. I can't even begin to think about the countless times I have asked what sugar free drinks a place has, only to be told it's a choice of diet coke, or water. I've even had some throw in the "orange juice" card, which has not impressed me, and I usually end up giving a mini-lecture on "just because it's not artificial sugar, doesn't mean it won't affect me" (I promise I do it as politely as possible). If I go somewhere that does offer an alternative, I always make a point of saying how pleased I am, and I explain why (err, basically this whole post is my explanation). I would like to think it would in turn make the owner/manager think about what stock they keep in.

However, I am pleased to big up Pizza Hut, as they now offer 7Up Free. Cue halos and angel music. Seriously, I am so happy about this. I can go out and have CHOICE. I'm actually a big fan of Pepsi Max, so I can CHOOSE between 7Up and Pepsi at Pizza Hut! Ahahaha!

So I urge you: join the campaign, and let's hope that in the near future, we can see a wider choice of drinks available, and that staff members up and down the country can get some basic information on WHY it is so important that when I ask you for diet, I need diet.