The Epidemic of Sugar: A Pathway to Diabetes By Doniss Hicks, RD
A long time ago, before I became a Registered Dietitian, I used to hear my elders talking about “sugar”. At that time, I had no idea what “sugar” was other than the white sugar that my family and everybody I knew used. I heard the elders saying things like, “he got sugar girl”, “that sugar ain’t no joke” or “sugar runs in my family”. I was perplexed, to say the least. I used to think to myself, why are these people carrying sugar around? That is, until I heard people use sugar in connection with diabetes. They called it “sugar diabetes”. As I heard more and more about sugar diabetes, I also learned more and more about its devastating complications, especially among African American women. Older women I knew described and allowed me to witness the problems they suffered with their skin, eyes, hands, feet and more. I witnessed their struggles with diet, controlling “sugar” with no knowledge of how to combat the disease. Witnessing these struggles propelled me to become a facilitator of a Diabetes support group in Detroit, Michigan over 2o years ago and lead me on my career pathway of diabetes education. “Sugar” became my passion, and helping people manage and or combat the disease has been rewarding.