Loose Women panellist Coleen Nolan may not be appearing on medical documentaries discussing diabetes any time soon.
Nolan got into a bit of a mess on the January 28 2015 episode of the daily ITV chat and gossip show when discussing financial incentives for smoking cessation in pregnancy.
It was suggested in a study published by British Medical Journal on the same day that shopping vouchers could be offered to pregnant mothers in return for quitting smoking.
Naturally, media outlets across the country were discussing the controversial idea, and Loose Women were quick to jump on the bandwagon. Everything was going quite well, until Nolan needlessly brought up diabetes.
“What about people that eat too much during pregnancy and their kids are born with diabetes – are we going to pay them to stop eating?”
One suspects that Nolan did not mean anything malicious or deliberately harmful with her ignorance, but her awareness of diabetes is clearly poor.
One also assumes that Nolan was referring to type 1 diabetes, but given the ambiguity of her comment, she may have been talking about gestational diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Alas, let’s set the record straight.
Type 1 diabetes: An autoimmune disease which causes the immune system to target and kill off its own insulin producing cells. Nothing to do with food consumed during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes: A condition which affects women during pregnancy, where there is too much glucose in the blood. The main risk factors of gestational diabetes developing include being slightly insulin resistant and having some other kind of placental hormone dysregulation. Nothing really to do with food consumed during pregnancy.
Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes occurs when insulin is not used effectively by the cells in your body. Risk factors include being overweight, smoking, or physical activity. Nothing to do with food consumed during pregnancy.
The chances of being born with diabetes are also extraordinarily rare. Some people can be born more likely to develop diabetes than others, but diabetes is not inherited in a simple pattern, which is why as of yet no cure has been developed.
We do applaud Loose Women for issuing a half-hearted and slightly insulting apology on behalf of Nolan, and hope that Nolan will continue in this vein when she is next on the show.