I’m a type 1 diabetic and I support JDRF. I think it’s a fantastic organization and I’ve recently been talking to my husband, also type 1 diabetic who is training for the Rotterdam marathon, about whether we could use his marathon as an opportunity to raise funds for JDRF – the organization whose mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. This morning, however, I thought I was reading The Onion as I read the article Donuts for Diabetes and saw this picture of the cute JDRF shoes logo topped with a doughnut.
Apparently, the second annual Krispy Kreme Challenge has just taken place. What is the Krispy Kreme Challenge? It’s a diabetes event centered around doughnuts. No, that doesn’t mean a bunch of people got together, ate doughnuts and tried to bring on type 2 diabetes. Surprisingly, it was an event which took place in order to raise money for JDRF. Krispy Kreme Challenge participants ran a mile or so, ate up to a dozen doughnuts, and then ran back. I asked my husband, a serious runner who knows as much as anyone about balancing blood sugar levels, insulin, and exercise, what he thought would happen to him if he ran a mile ate a dozen doughnuts and then ran another mile. “I think I would die,” he said.
On that note, let’s stop for a moment and look at this chart which includes nutritional data for Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts.
% Daily Value*
A Dozen Glazed Doughnuts
%Daily Value *
One Glazed Doughnut
Calories from Fat
*Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
**source: Krispy Kreme
Yes, you did read that correctly – 12 glazed doughnuts contain 2,400 calories, 264 grams of carb, and 144 grams of fat.
Now factor in this:
According to FitSugar, “Syracuse University did a study that involved 12 men and 12 women. Their caloric burn was measured when both walking (19:00 minute miles) and running (9:30 minute miles), for a distance of 1,600 meters (about a mile). The men burned an average of 105 calories while running, and just 52 while walking; the women burned 91 calories while running and 43 walking.”
In summary: A man who completed the Krispy Kreme Challenge consumed 2,400 calories. If he ran the course, he burned 210 of them. If he walked, he burned 104 calories. (And eek – 264 grams of carb in 12 doughnuts! How much do you bolus to cover that?)
Annette Peery, organizer of the Krispy Kreme Challenge knows that some of us might be raising our eyebrows at her event. Her comment to Eye Witness News 9, “A lot of people are saying, ’why would you be running and eating donuts for diabetes.’ She explains that type 1 diabetes is not related to obesity and physical inactivity, but rather, it’s an autoimmune disorder. Dear Ms. Perry, type 1 diabetes might not be caused by obesity, but eating foods like doughnuts which are high in sugar, fat, and carbohydrates, are poison for all people, and especially for type 1 diabetics who are trying to avoid complications of diabetes by controlling their blood sugar and cholesterol.
It’s true, type 1 diabetics *can* eat sugar, so long as they can cover themselves with the proper amount of insulin. But that’s not an easy thing to do. And while almost all type 1 diabetics do sometimes eat sweets, I believe it is important to acknowledge that these foods are not good for us. We have to avoid falling into the “equality” argument which goes something like… I might have diabetes, but that doesn’t mean I can’t eat just like everyone else. As diabetics, we aren’t equal. This isn’t a matter of gender or race. This is about survival with a very serious, chronic illness. No diabetic of any type should be encouraged to eat doughnuts, no matter how good the cause.
Finding a cure for diabetes is no simple thing. But keeping diabetic complications to a minimum is possible for those of us who manage –overall- to keep our blood sugar levels in the target range. My husband and I work hard to do this. And the way we succeed is by avoiding foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. The formula is pretty simple: the less sugar you eat, the less insulin you need to process it.
Meanwhile, I’m inspired. The Krispy Kreme challenge has led me to think of other fund raising ideas. Tomorrow morning I think I’ll approach Phillip Morris and suggest they sponsor the Marlboro Challenge to raise funds for cancer research. Participants will run a mile, smoke a dozen cigarettes, and then run back. Double the money for anyone who completes the course without coughing.
***Here’s a worthwhile challenge for you: Richard Lane, President of Diabetes UK, and one of the first people in the UK to receive islet cell transplant, is challenging himself to walk 7.5 miles along Hadrian’s Wall to raise funds for diabetes research. The walk will take place on June 19, 2010. You can make a donation to support Richard’s challenge. To join Richard on his walk contact firstname.lastname@example.org.