A diabetes diagnosis turns one’s world upside down. All of a sudden, she is distinctly different from her peers and counterparts. She must observe a new, strict diet. She must monitor her insulin and blood sugar levels. She must continue with life as if nothing had happened, trudge through the day to day while knowing that inside she suffers form a chronic condition (Keszthelyi 257).
Because the pressures of the real world don’t halt with the onset of diabetes, those diagnosed often have to make substantial life changes while still trapped in the same daily routines of work and family. What’s more, the diet and exercise plans that help control diabetes are foreign and complex. Even after an appointment or two with the doctor, the only knowledge gained can be found in a flimsy “healthy eating” pamphlet and a long list of do’s and don’ts.
Studies show that anywhere from 50% to 80% of people living with diabetes fail to comply with the medication, diet, and lifestyle recommended by their doctor (Chatterjee 507). Even those who do comply often don’t succeed in achieving the desired results, while those who stray from the rules occasionally reach a successful outcome through partial compliance or the “toothbrush effect” (complying just before follow up, like brushing teeth just before a dental appointment) (Chatterjee 508). The nature of these unpredictable results makes complete compliance even harder to justify. Not everyone is equipped with exemplary will power and not everyone is able to manage stressful situations perfectly well (Keszthelyi 259). Unfortunately, blame frequently falls on the patient when he fails to achieve the therapeutic goal.
Kavita Kapur suggests that instead of blaming patients, non-compliance should be viewed as feedback which tells us that our current approach is not working and that it is time we try another approach (27). In a 2008 study by Kapur and seven of her colleagues, 350 adults with type 2 diabetes were interviewed and examined to determine which factors help diabetes patients lead a more compliant lifestyle. The study resulted in two main findings.
First, those who receive adequate information and advice from a healthcare professional they respect comply more frequently with the diabetic regimen. Susan Borra reported that people are motivated by two conflicting needs: clear information that propels them to take action and the power to make their own choices (678). The information provided by professionals should not simply be a list of rules and orders. On the contrary, the information could be facts and ideas that serve to empower patients, giving them the initiative to impose their own self restriction and control (Kapur 32). A self-driven compliance quest is far more likely to last.
Second, when food is not cooked separately for a person with diabetes and the whole family frequently shares a diabetic meal together, compliance is more likely (Kapur 29). Removed from temptation and immersed in a group where a special diet is the norm, the person who has diabetes feels less ostracized and experiences diminished cravings. A group of diabetic educators surveyed at the 2009 conference for the American Association of Diabetic Educators (AADE) consistently cited dessert as the time when non-compliance was at its worst.
This is the reasoning behind Gergana’s Grand Desserts. With cakes just as beautiful as any store-bought dessert and taste just as good (if not better), Gergana’s Grand Desserts is a slice of sweetness that the whole family can enjoy. Instead of watching the other family members devour desserts on holidays and birthdays, the person living with diabetes can partake in the action and taste, making him less likely to cave in to the temptation of full-sugar desserts. With seven delicious desserts already available and more options on the way, Gergana’s Grand Desserts offers a treat for every occasion.
Borra, S. et al. “Developing actionable dietary guidance messages: dietary fat as a case study.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 101 (2001): 678-684. Web. 16 Jun. 2010.
Chatterjee, J.S. “Compliance to Concordance in Diabetes.” Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (2006): 507-510. Web. 3 Jun. 2010.
Kapur, K. et al. “Barriers to changing dietary behavior.” The Journal Of The Association Of Physicians Of India 56 (2008): 27-32. Web. 10 Jun. 2010.
Keszthelyi, S. and B. Blasszauer. “Challenging Non-Compliance.” Journal of Medical Ethics 29 (2003): 257-259. Web. 3 Jun. 2010.