Wednesday, October 2, 2013

FatLand, doctors and diabetes

I am imagining, right now, what it would be like a) to go to a supermarket without anyone looking at what is in one's cart  b) to go to a supermarket devoid of  "diet" foods.

There was an extended discussion by the FatLand Board before the first supermarket opened in FatLand because they were talking about exactly this - what constitutes a "diet" food.

What is interesting is in FatLand, people with Type 2 diabetes don't alter their diets much. What is also interesting is that there are very few people in FatLand with diabetes.

FatLand doctors believe that stress and stigmatizing contributed/contribute to people's developing diabetes as much as their genetics. They also believe that being fat does not cause someone to get diabetes. They do not monitor blood sugar unless someone asks or someone is sick and they end up taking a lot of tests. They also make certain that they have three successive readings of what they consider high sugar levels before they decide someone has diabetes. And guess what? Often they go with the over 140 level. And if the person is tall and fat, they won't assign a "diabetes" label unless that person has a fasting blood sugar level of over 160.

They emphasize two things then: exercise and having fun. Sometimes that is enough to drop the sugar level. Sometimes it is not. But freedom from worry and stress seems to be a very big part of mortality, or indeed low levels of it, from diabetes or anything else in FatLand.


  1. Susan Huddis KoppelmanOctober 2, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    Frannie, I can't imagine going into a supermarket and not looking in everyone's cart. It never occurred to me to look for diet foods, though. I don't know why not. I look to see what I can figure out about their lives, about who they are. The most interesting to me are the carts pushed by old men who are shopping by themselves. Often when I see a cart filled with cheap gallons of house brand ice cream, three or four packages of various kinds of cheap cookies, big bags of corn chips (usually something really smelly, like Doritos -- ugh!), a six or 12 pack of beer, a box of wine, and then --a package (small) of frozen green vegetables. I immediately figure -- the guy's a widower and can finally eat whatever he wants because his wife always fed him healthy food and tried to keep him healthy. Then she died and he was left to buy his own groceries and it's all a wonderland to him. And the frozen green vegetables are a memorial to his beloved lost wife.

  2. are dangerous. I would not wish to have you look in my cart :P

  3. Susan Huddis KoppelmanOctober 2, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Yes, I imagine them having a freezer that gradually fills up with frost encrusted frozen Bird's Eye, never eaten, always paid obsequious respect to, accompanied by a tear or two. But never eaten. Just respected. It makes him feel as if she is watching over him. It makes him feel valorous.

    I like looking into the carts of young college-age couples, too. They both try to carry off the aplomb in the supermarket of experienced domestic managers, cooks, caretakers of each other and themselves, people who know how to live RIGHT, live carefully, live with environmental responsibility. And there is a wonderful intimacy to them as they play out in the grown-up place the truth that they are living together. They buy breakfast foods with lots of giggles because it's a way of acknowledging that they SLEPT IN THE SAME BED (snicker snicker) and that's what that breakfast food announces, as boldly as porn shots.

    1. Goodness. If I knew you were looking, I would make sure to put something weird in there. I don't know..maybe eel delight or pepper ice cream..