Diab*tes: A Stigmatizing Expression of Sugar Phobia

The Sugar Mill“I might be on on a sugar high, but I’m not a diab*tic. Don’t pathologize my pancreas.” With these words from Lexi Cherinson, a new movement was born last week to challenge a dominant narrative around health, wellbeing, and diverse bodies. Specifically, Cherinson is challenging the fearmongering about a global epidemic of diab*tes. She prefers not to use the word because she and like-minded advocates have decoded it and concluded it is nothing but a stigmatizing expression of sugar phobia.

On Twitter (X, if you like), one user summed up her support for sugar liberation movement:

“The only sickness is the sick exploitation of #BigPharma trying to tell me to worry about sugar levels when my body is working just fine for me. DON’T PATHOLOGIZE ME! Keep your stinkin’ GLP-1s.”

A Touch of Sugar

This movement to cancel diab*tes has a long, intersectional history. The dominant medicalized narrative has never set well in diverse cultural contexts and communities. Long before Cherinson declared her challenge to the pathological narrative of diab*tes, it was common for many folk to resist this stigmatizing concept. “I only have a touch of sugar,” is the catchphrase.

Pleasure and Panic from Sugar

The drive to pathologize sugar has its roots in the 19th century, says Samira Kawash, a scholar of literature and gender studies and the author of Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure. Shed escribes a dietary moralism that developed in 19th-century America. It held that some foods were “good and godly.” But a very different view of sugar began developing then:

“Other kinds of foods were over-stimulating and dangerous to the organism, they were evil because they took your body and your health further away from God. Those ideas weren’t about candy specifically, but when candy became more widely available, they attached to candy very easily. Candy was made of sugar, and sugar was one of those dangerous, over-stimulating substances that might drive you to different kinds of frenzies of vice and sinfulness.”

We offer this fable of Cherinson and her social justice warriors, standing ready to set us all free from big pharma shills telling us our bodies are diseased just because we have a touch of sugar. It’s our humble contribution to April Fools.

Click here for more on the genuine significance of this movement.

The Sugar Mill, painting by Diego Rivera / WikiArt

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April 1, 2024

7 Responses to “Diab*tes: A Stigmatizing Expression of Sugar Phobia”

  1. April 01, 2024 at 10:40 am, Sossity said:

    Have Lexi and her followers seen the impact of unmanaged diabetes and blood sugar?? Sounds like a lack of awareness that while we may feel okay today, there are clear issues occurring in the body that will lead to long term health issues if left untreated.

  2. April 01, 2024 at 10:42 am, Sossity said:

    You got me!!

  3. April 01, 2024 at 1:44 pm, Christine Rosenlboom said:

    Good one, Ted! Happy Ap*il F**l’s D*y

  4. April 01, 2024 at 5:07 pm, GSC Harper said:

    What a great idea. Let’s just pretend that excess adiposity is not related to morbidity or mortality. And on top of it, let’s pretend that high blood sugar and prediabetes isn’t related to diabetes which is the devastating illness. I guess you can pretend that you did not have a leg amputated or you can pretend that you don’t have Diabetic retinopathy. I think it’s always appropriate to not think about or face important medical problems that require intervention.

    • April 01, 2024 at 5:09 pm, Ted said:

      I can see that you are really into the spirit of April Fools’ Day!

  5. April 01, 2024 at 11:29 pm, GSC Harper said:

    Fools ignore science regardless of the day or month.

    • April 02, 2024 at 3:16 am, Ted said:

      Well said.