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Diabetic teen slams McDonald's over soft drink fail: 'Do better'

The teenager tested her drink to find out the sugar level and was disappointed with the result.

A young Australian diabetic has challenged fast-food giant McDonald's to "do better" after she claims she was given a sugary Coke when ordering a sugar-free Coke Zero.

Mia McIntosh, who frequently posts content about living with type-one diabetes, shared a video to her TikTok account of her testing the fizzy drink in question and showed the real-time results of how much sugar was in the beverage.

Mia and a Coke from McDonald's.
According to her comment on TikTok, the young diabetic was given a regular Coke despite asking for one with zero sugar. Source: TikTok/Getty

In the video, the teenager removes the lid and straw before stating what she ordered.

"This is supposed to be a zero sugar Coke from McDonald's. I'm a type-one diabetic so I got zero sugar, so my blood sugars don't go crazy" she explained.

She is then seen dipping a measuring device into her drink and within seconds it flashes with the result 33.3, inferring her drink has a high level of sugar.

However, it is worth noting the device used to measure the fizzy drink's sugar content is not conventionally used for this method and does not give an accurate reading of sugar in soft drinks. Instead they are used by the diabetic community to measure blood glucose levels to determine the correct amount of insulin they should inject.

After seeing a fellow TikToker use the device to test sugar levels of drinks, Mia thought it was "genius" and followed suit.

Mia showing the results from the diabetes glucose measuring device.
The TikToker held the reading up to the camera to show her audience that her "zero sugar coke" had a 33.3 sugar reading. Source: TikTok

Divided discussion over complex condition

The video attracted a surge of comments with others sharing their own experience of trying to navigate the fast-food chain while being diabetic.

"As a type-one diabetic, I get so frustrated about it. Especially with the frozen cokes because I literally can’t taste the difference," one commented.

"My mum is type-one and it happens so much with Maccas mixing up her sugar-free drinks and she doesn’t calculate for it, and it puts her sugars up," another said.

Diabetic individuals are broadly encouraged to eat and drink what they like, however, forward planning is required to ensure the correct quantity of insulin is released into their blood stream to safely break down the glucose they consume.

Unknowingly consuming a drink with high sugar content could result in a spike in blood sugar for a diabetic individual and has both short-term and long-term health implications, Diabetes Australia told Yahoo.

The video also received a wave of backlash with users pinning the blame back on the TikToker, saying she herself should know better around what she can consume. The onslaught of misinformation resulted in Mia turning off the comments section to the video.

McDonald's respond to diabetic's video

It is believed Mia received a regular Coke rather than the zero-sugar drink she claims to have ordered. McDonald's assured Yahoo News Australia they do have in-store measures in place to avoid this situation from happening.

“Our employees follow strict processes and procedures to ensure the quality and accuracy of customer orders," the spokesperson said.

“We are disappointed to hear of the customer’s experience and encourage them to contact our customer service team so we can look into it in more detail," they continued.

The video highlights the never-ending tightrope the diabetic community walk everyday to ensure they consistently mediate their blood-sugar levels, while also fighting off misconceptions about the condition.

"The stigma around all types (of diabetes) is ridiculous, and more education definitely needs to be done," Mia said.

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