Diabetes is Groovy!

You can't catch diabetes from a friendYou Can’t Catch Diabetes from a Friend
Kipnis and Adler

But maybe an enemy?  Hmmmm.

In 1979 this was a fine choice for a youth nonfiction health collection but now I think it is time to retire this particular title. I could add a bunch of comments about the difference between Type 1 and 2 as well as the rising epidemic for diabetes. Mostly, the issue is that youth need up to date information just like adults. We are doing them a disservice when we don’t consider currency in health materials.

I did love the 70s fashion featured throughout this book.  Looks and smells like 1979. Groovy times.


diabetes back cover

playing saxophone



More on Robert


  1. Did you notice that the last page here talks about testing urine (not blood)? Any child looking for infomation about diabetes is going to have more questions than answers from this book!

  2. Good to know that diabetes has not prevented Robert from having the most magnificent ‘fro in his group of friends.

  3. Agreed, Alex. That is one happenin’ fro! Reminds me of the 70’s movies we used to watch on the reel-to-reel for health class. And see him groovin’ with that sax… probably very funky music, too.

  4. With this sudden barage of 70’s funk and fashion, I’m gonna have to watch Shaft again.

  5. The last page demonstrates the rarely-seen 1970’s “Diabeetus Touch.” You can’t catch diabetes from a friend, but you can catch it from the Diabeetus Touch.

  6. Won’t make the obvious joke about them using the lawnmowers on their groovy Afros…

    Is Robert Cool, or is an Ubernerd? He’s so stylish, yet earns money by mowing neighbours’ lawns and makes plastic kits, for God’s sake!

    (Mind you, he has done a pretty good job of those ships and if he’s now a middle-aged kitbuilder (like some geeks I know) could be very good indeed.)

    Alas, I suspect that the actor was indeed Cool, but they put in the nerdy things to make him look like a more realistic loser with diabetes and a BOOK about it too.

  7. Wow. I remember reading a book about a diabetic girl in the late 70s, but she had nothing on the hairstyles! As a diabetic since 1979, I do remember urine testing (I’d rather forget…) but Marci is right–as are many of you–any book this old on a disease is TOO old. I knew I was a type I diabetic in the early 1980s, and there is no mention of it here.

  8. This book, while its message when it originally came out I’m sure was possibly- slightly, helpful in todays world is no longer relevant. As someone who grew up in the late 80s as being diagnosed with Type I Diabetes, I only wish a cheesy 80s had existed for my bullying classmates. On a comical side note the clothing is hilariously dated as one would expect LOL. Now, if only more were being done to educate non-Diabetic children about their Diabetic classmate/neighbor/family member/friend/etc. Btw love this website, at times has made me laugh to the point of tears, so thank you for the people running it/moderating/creating it… 🙂 Cheers!

  9. So much has changed in care of diabetes in the past few decades. Anything older than the ’90s will be outdated to the point of being useless. As already pointed out, older books (such as this one) will talk about urine testing, whereas now blood tests are used. I think the ’70s was also back in the era when needles were boiled and reused, rather than being disposable like they are now. Plus, the science behind what diabetes is wasn’t as well understood, and I think the dietary restrictions were a bit stricter than they typically are now (since we now know diabetics can eat just about anything as long as they account for it properly).

    I also bet it makes no mention whatsoever of children having type 2 diabetes, something that’s only become common in the last decade or so. I’d say this book would cause more confusion than understanding.

  10. I will have my 30 year anniversary of daignosis on Thanksgiving…..it was Thanksgiving Day 1982 that the symptoms that started about 3 weeks prior took me down. I was 11…… Best of times to be diagnosed! Diet Coke just hit the market! They gave me some at the hospital! Sweet ‘n Low was being taken over by aspertame although I don’t remember what the brand was? Was it Equal way back then? Syringes were disposable. I was given the pills to drop into the urine but BG test strips were already more common that I never stuck with those! I follwed my A1C result right from the beginning. I had my first BG meter in 1984 just 2 years later and the pump was in development. Meal plans became the free diet/carb counting before I started high school. I can’t beleive how primitive this book reads in 1979 3 years before I was diagnosed……..I mean, how long did it take to get published? LOL

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