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TV programme unhelpful in dispelling diabetes myths

Diabetes UK is dismayed that ‘The Hospital’ programme broadcast yesterday on Channel 4 misrepresented people with diabetes and missed the opportunity to educate the viewing public about the many facets of living with the condition.

The charity is concerned that the programme failed to explain clearly the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and the focal 'blame' theme of the programme will lead to prejudice against young people with diabetes.


“Diabetes is a condition that is still shrouded in misconceptions and ignorance. This programme has not helped dispel these myths or prejudices," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

“Sadly, we often hear of children who are bullied at school or people who have experienced discrimination because people believe they’ve brought their diabetes on themselves.

“This programme did show that diabetes is a serious condition and all people with diabetes need to be made aware of the devastating complications.

"However, being a teenager is difficult enough - but being a teenager with diabetes is even more difficult. Diabetes UK is disappointed that the programme failed to provide a balanced view of life with diabetes as many people with diabetes lead full and healthy lives.”

The Children’s Charter

Diabetes UK is gathering thousands of signatures on a petition to give more of a voice to children and young people with diabetes, and help highlight the needs of children, young people and their families.

There are 20,000 children under the age of 15 with Type 1 diabetes in the UK and it is estimated that a further 2,000 children are diagnosed every year.

Sign Diabetes UK’s Children’s Charter petition to champion high-quality care and support for children and young people with diabetes.

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