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.