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The Power of Personal Choice

Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, FAND

I’ve had Type I diabetes for 37 years and I can’t count the number of times someone has asked me, “Can you eat that?” or “Should you be drinking that?” When this happens, I typically smile and walk away.

I’m able to control my diabetes when I’m able to control my food and beverage choices, making decisions on what and how much I’ll eat based on a number of factors including my hunger, stress, and physical activity levels. One of the most challenging aspects of having Type 1 diabetes is being faced with situations where someone else has taken away my ability to make a choice.

I recently attended a business function where they served a plated lunch to everyone, a salad where the only source of carbohydrate came from a few tiny croutons. I’d already taken my pre-meal insulin, and starting panicking as I scanned the room for a source of carbohydrate. Thankfully there was a wide selection of beverages available, including some sodas. I was saved! But as soon as I grabbed one, a colleague said, “Should you be drinking that” to which I smiled and responded, “Yes, yes, I should. Thanks for asking.”

Beverage taxes are aimed to take options away for many people but fail to consider the fact that we all make food and beverage choices for a wide variety of reasons. Let’s leave it up to the individual to make the decisions that work best for them. I for one will always fight to protect the power of personal choice.

Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, FAND, is a registered dietitian nutritionist who has lived well with Type I diabetes for more than 37 years. The owner of Farmer’s Daughter Consulting, LLC, she consults with a variety of food and beverage clients on issues related to nutrition and health.

Tags: Health Advocacy Obesity Blog
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