Jamaican-born celebrity chef, Charles Mattocks, has spent his whole life working on showing people how to eat healthy foods affordably, but was recently diagnosed with Type II Diabetes himself. Diabetes is a fairly common disease that is still very misunderstood. Today, Mattocks, known as the “Poor Chef”, fights to make the disease better known.
“The biggest misconception about diabetes is that it is for fat people, or maybe for old people, or that it comes from sugar,” Mattocks says. “They are the three big misconceptions and none of them are true. You have type 1s who are very young and type 1s who are having diabetes when they are older. You have type 2s who can get it in their teens, twenties, forties and even seventies.”
Mattocks is currently working on a documentary about the disease around the world. The movie is a way for Mattocks to pass a message on and to bring awareness to the subject. “I’m like the Martin Luther King of diabetes around the world,” he says. “I have cookbooks, my own glucose meters. We’re just wrapping a new reality show called Reversed, and doing very well.” Mattocks tries to help all diabetics, types 1 and 2, old or young. He focuses a lot of his energy on the Caribbean Islands, the United States and Canada.
“There are 400 million diabetics in the world and 40 to 50 millions live in those areas,” Mattocks explains. Mattocks has been working on his documentary for the past four years and plans on releasing it by the end of this year. “I’ve been shooting the film for the last four years around the world from India to the islands,” he says. “It’s basically my story with diabetes, but it becomes the world’s story with diabetes. We are able to literally show what diabetes is around the world from a pharmaceutical point of view, from a patient point of view, from a doctor’s point of view, from a caregiver’s point of view, from a food industry point of view.”
Mattocks is pleased with the result. He believes his movie is the best way to carry the good, but also the bad faces of the disease. “We have been able to bring to life some of the amazing stories, but then again some of the sad and tragic stories about diabetes, and on a whole there’s a lot of pieces of this puzzle of diabetes that needs to be changed dramatically if we are able to help anybody,” Mattocks says. “We are going through a load of film festivals, from Cannes to Sundance, and then in theatres and then on television. It will be seen worldwide and we are looking to premiere it in many countries having filmed in India and other parts of the world.”
Mattocks believes movies and TV are the best way—if not the only way—to bring awareness to diabetes. Today, five million people die from diabetes around the world, more than from AIDS or cancer. “Some people told me that they’d rather have AIDS than diabetes,” Mattocks says. According to him, the millions spent on advertising do not work, and he believes that has to change. “I believe there has to be a total change in how we market to people about diabetes,” Mattocks, who also as a project producing a reality show, says. “With the TV show, we are having a show that allows people to sit in their living rooms and watch other people like them and be educated by some of the best professionals in the world in health and nutrition is the best way to market.”
Mattocks also has a project to help bring awareness about diabetes in Jamaica. May is National Heal the Children Month and renowned chef and diabetes advocate, Charles Mattocks, has initiated Books For Children in Jamaica. This important project will give away 500 to 1,000 of Mattocks’ books to the Jamaican school system to educate the population on diabetes and the treatment available.
“I have a book called Diabetes and Healthy Eating and we are creating a project to go to Jamaica and bring books and talk in schools,” Mattocks says. “We will be doing cooking demonstrations and educate people at a young age on diabetes. We are very excited about that because the country needs it desperately and they are lacking education. It starts with the youth.”
Mattocks is one of a few selected individuals that are named a Blue Circle Champion with the International Diabetes Federation. An award he considers his “Oscar.” Mattocks also works with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and participated in a charity event in Orlando, FL.
For more information about supporting the Books For Children in Jamaica initiative visit: http://www.gofundme.com/childrensbooks. Charles Mattocks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT CHARLES MATTOCKS
Charles Mattocks is a worldwide diabetes advocate who has been seen on programs such as Dr. Oz, The Today Show, and CNN. He is also a best-selling author and spokesperson with the ADA and Blue Circle Champion of the International Diabetes Federation. He is currently directing a major documentary on diabetes as well as the first ever diabetes reality TV show called Reversed. http://charlesmattocks.com.
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