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


A young Australian diabetic has challenged fast food giant McDonald’s to ‘do better’ after claiming he was given a Coke with sugar when he ordered a sugar-free Coke Zero.

Mia McIntosh, who frequently posts content about living with type 1 diabetes, shared a video testing the soda in question on her TikTok account, showing real-time results of how much sugar the drink contained.

Mia and McDonald's Coke.

According to her comments on TikTok, a young diabetic was given a regular Coke even though she asked for a sugar-free Coke.Source: Tik Tok/Getty

In the video, a teenager removes the lid and straw before explaining what to order.

“It’s supposed to be McDonald’s zero sugar Coke. I’m type 1 diabetic, so it’s zero sugar so my blood sugar doesn’t go crazy,” she explained.

She is then seen dipping a measuring device into a drink and within seconds the result flashes at 33.3, inferring that the drink contains high levels of sugar.

However, it should be noted that the equipment used to measure the sugar content of carbonated drinks has not traditionally been used for this method and cannot give an accurate reading of the sugar content of soft drinks. Instead, it is used by diabetics to measure blood sugar levels to determine the correct amount of insulin to inject.

After seeing fellow TikTokers use the device to test the sugar content of their drinks, Mia thought it was a “genius” and followed suit.

Mia shows the results of her diabetic glucose meter.Mia shows the results of her diabetic glucose meter.

TikToker turned the measurement to the camera to show viewers that her “Zero Sugar Coke” had a measurement of 33.3.Source: Tik Tok

Divided arguments about complex conditions

The video was inundated with comments from other users sharing their own experiences trying to navigate fast food chains while having diabetes.

“As a type 1 diabetic, I get so frustrated about it, especially with frozen cola, because you literally can’t taste the difference.

“My mom is a type 1 and often Maccus mixes sugar-free drinks, but she doesn’t count it and it’s high in sugar,” said another.

Although it is widely recommended that diabetics eat and drink whatever they want, there is a need to ensure that the right amount of insulin is released into the bloodstream to safely break down the ingested glucose. Advance planning is required.

Diabetes Australia told Yahoo that unknowingly drinking sugary drinks can cause blood sugar levels to spike in people with diabetes, with both short-term and long-term health consequences.

The video also received a wave of backlash, with users pushing the blame on TikToker and saying she needed to know better about what she could consume herself. I’ve turned off the comments section.

McDonald’s responds to video of diabetic patient

Mia is believed to have received a regular Coke instead of the sugar-free drink she claims she ordered. McDonald’s has assured Yahoo News Australia that it has measures in place to prevent such situations from occurring.

“Our employees follow rigorous processes and procedures to ensure the quality and accuracy of customer orders,” said a spokesperson.

“We are disappointed to hear about your experience and encourage you to reach out to our customer service team so we can investigate further,” they continued.

The video highlights the never-ending tightrope walk that the diabetes community walks every day to consistently regulate blood sugar levels, while also combating misconceptions about the condition.

“There is no doubt that the stigma against all types of diabetes is ridiculous and more education needs to be done,” Mia said.

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