Diabetes campaign causes bullying

Mon, 19 Jan 2009
A government TV advertising campaign has caused children with diabetes to be bullied. Following complaints about the campaign, the Department for Health is making urgent changes.

The campaign, reported on last week in the diabetes news, is known as Change4Life. One of the premises of the campaign is that obesity could cause diabetes, but it completely failed to draw a distinction between type 2 diabetes and type 1 diabetes .

The chief executive of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Karen Addington, reportedly commented: "Since the start of the campaign, we have heard from many parents of children with type 1 diabetes whose children have been very upset by the advertising and who have been singled out, and even bullied, at school. Type 1 diabetes happens because a child's immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin . It leaves them dependent on multiple daily blood tests and insulin injections or pump infusions, every day for the rest of their lives, just to stay alive. It is not linked to lifestyle factors like weight or exercise. There is nothing that children with type 1 diabetes, or their parents, could have done to prevent their condition, and there is currently no cure. This is why JDRF invests millions of pounds each year into medical research to find the cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications."
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