The Government will be forced to update their most recent anti-obesity campaign following complaints from parents regarding bullying, and the failure to draw any distinction between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes .
The complaints were made by parents of children who suffer from type 1 diabetes, who slammed the government for their ignorance and for fuelling bullying by reinforcing the idea that diabetes is caused by being overweight.
Complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority, and letters were sent to the Health Secretary, Alan Johnson. The campaign, Change4Life, has been running for under two weeks, and is expected to cost a total of GBP 75 million.
Chief Executive of diabetes charity Diabetes UK, Douglas Smallwood, reportedly commented: “Diabetes UK understands that many people still don’t realise that there are different types of diabetes . Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to lifestyle factors as 80 per cent of people are overweight at the time of diagnosis. However, like Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes is also a genetic condition and people can still develop Type 2 diabetes despite being a healthy weight. Diabetes UK is a partner of Change4Life although not directly involved in the advertising that has been launched across the country over the last few days. However, we will be working with the Department of Health in the coming months on Change4Life, and as part of this, we will work to ensure that the campaign correctly distinguishes between the different types where possible.”

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