Woodmansterne Greeting Cards has apologised for the creation of a card which used diabetes as a punch line, causing offence to many in the diabetes community.

The Genius card 364785 featured the question “(a) Mark has 40 slices of cake. He eats 38. What has he got now? Diabetes X No! (it’s type 2 diabetes anyway)”.

In a message on the Woodmansterne website, managing director Paul Woodmansterne revealed that the card has since been removed from sale to retailers and Woodmansterne is destroying its stocks.

He said: “As a child, I learned that it is wrong to mock the afflicted and, over the years, I have never thought differently. If we had, for one moment, seen this as directed towards those with diabetes, we would never have published it.”

Woodmansterne referenced the “strong” reaction to the card and apologised for the hurt and offense that it may have caused.


One particularly vocal campaigner was Intagram user sweettilly who said the card was “so offensive I don’t even know where to begin!” Her post earned 253 likes within 72 hours.

The Hertforshire-based Woodmansterne Greeting Cards was founded in 1940. It is now a leading supplier of greeting cards to independent retailers in Britain and supplies around 30 million cards per year.

It is good to see that the card has been removed from circulation. While sugar can be a contributing factor towards type 2 diabetes, it is just one of a range of contributing factors including stress, genetic predisposition, adverse reactions to medication and the presence of other medical conditions.

As Tilly points out, to simplify type 2 diabetes down to just one factor is to do people with the condition a disservice and creates unnecessary stigma. Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that requires strong management. Poking fun has a negative effect which only makes life more difficult for people with the condition.

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