A few days ago, I was strolling down the sun-blasted streets of Echo Park, Los Angeles, and I saw something completely and utterly ridiculous. First, an oversized sign heralding the low-low prices of a particular establishment’s coca cola. And immediately following this message, a promise of savings on diabetes “supplies”. Any guesses which particular establishment this was? None other than Walgreens.
There’s SO much wrong with this scenario that it’s hard to know where to begin. Walgreens is a classic example of an American institution which claims to be looking out for the best interests of it’s customers, but instead is MAKING them sick then CASHING IN on their sickness. And no-one seems to have a problem with that!
If your mind is moving a little slower than usual, allow me to elaborate. Coke, and basically every other kind of soft drink available today, is a major contributor to development of diabetes. While doctors and the majority of conventional health practitioners would have you thinking that diabetes is primarily genetically-derived, arguably the biggest factor determining your likelihood of diabetes is food.
Foods high in sugar, in this case high-fructose corn syrup (amounting to 16 teaspoons of sugar in a single 16 ounce bottle of the fizzy black stuff), cause our insulin levels to spike. Chronically-elevated insulin levels pave the way for obesity, cancer and (you guessed it) diabetes. A study conducted last year found that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (i.e. Coke) at a rate of one 250 ml serving per day (approximately two thirds of your average bottle of coke) would increase your risk of developing diabetes by 18%. For artificially sweetened beverages (i.e. Diet Coke or Coke Zero), that risk increase was a whopping 25%.
And Walgreens, the purported “giver-of-health” is selling three 12-packs of coke for $10. So really, the sign should say “increase your risk of diabetes by 18-25% for the low low price of $10!”.
And as if that wasn’t enough, they then had the gall to immediately follow this offering with one claiming that “savings on diabetes supplies” were to be found inside. Firstly, there’s something seriously wrong with the words “diabetes supplies”. To me, the word “supplies” suggests buying something en mass – sweeping great hordes of consumables into a pharmacy trolley to hunker down for the coming natural disaster or next economic crisis. So does this suggest that people are “stocking up” on diabetes supplies? Instead of cans of beans and water for that natural disaster, they’re loading up on diabetes drugs for the oncoming surge of diabetes from all that Coke drinking?
Secondly, they’re contributing to diabetes in the first place, then shamelessly making money off people who develop diabetes from consuming THEIR PRODUCTS! The nerve of it is astounding. And the worst part? It’s happening everywhere. Walgreens is by no means the only business to be so shamelessly contributing to then cashing in on people’s lack of intelligence when it comes to health, but they could at least TRY to be a little more subtle about it, couldn’t they?
The point is, be vigilant, people! The only person you can trust with your health is yourself, so get researching and find out what is and isn’t good for you. It may seem daunting at first, but once you get a feel for what’s healthy and what isn’t, you’re away laughing. And if in doubt, steer clear of processed foods and drinks – they’re almost always going to do you damage.