Set your Tivo, guys! It's almost here. Have you heard? The first network TV series by, about, and for diabetics, called dLife TV premieres this Sunday on CNBC, 4:00 pm PT/ 7:00 pm ET. From what I've seen, it appears to be a cross between "The View" and a cable-like health show featuring segments on exercise and healthy cooking. Of the four hosts, two have Type 1 diabetes and two have Type 2.
This is the latest sign that Corporate America -- including the media and entertainment industry -- is catching on to the "captive" audience of 18M+ diabetics just ripe to be marketed to. Which is not to say the show is a bad thing. I'm sure we're all very curious what it's got to offer.
Also coming up, next Tuesday March 22, is American Diabetes Alert Day. This one's aimed at raising awareness around the country through local events and promotions. My husband's gym, for example, is offering Diabetes Risk Tests with a $5 donation to the ADA. They're also providing free fitness evaluations with their personal trainers as an incentive to get involved.
I think reaching out to people who may not know or think much about diabetes is extremely important -— not just for better understanding of us "victims." The incidence of diabetes has jumped nearly 50 percent in the past 10 years! That's HUGE. And they call it the "silent killer" because apparently more than five million people are walking around with it without knowing so.
The ADA is working on a new online tool to help people assess their own risk for diabetes, called Diabetes PHD (Personal Health Decisions). It's a powerful software program that will appraise your personal health records (you input the info through a questionnaire) against medical data that will predict your future health. Imagine how forceful this could be: by changing your predicted smoking habits, for example, the program can calculate how many years you may add to your life. This is a great place to point anyone who's "pre-diabetic" or whom you suspect may be. The tool's not ready for prime time yet, but you can sign up to be notified by email as soon as it is.