More than a half (53 per cent) of people in London still think eating too much sugar causes diabetes and nearly a third (33 per cent) of people object to people with diabetes injecting insulin in public, according to a survey by Diabetes UK.
Simon O’Neill, Director of Care, Information and Advocacy Services at Diabetes UK, explains: “These sorts of myths are not helpful and can lead to discrimination and bullying.” Diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Sugar does not cause diabetes. However, eating a diet high in sugar can cause people to become overweight which increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
O’Neill continues: “Diabetes UK is appalled that some people object to injecting in public. For people who treat their diabetes with insulin, this is not a choice – insulin keeps them alive and injections have to be administered at specific times. People should be able to inject in public without fear of being mocked or shunned by those around them.”
The survey also discovered that 45 per cent of people think that people with diabetes benefit from food and drink labelled “suitable for diabetics”. O’Neill explains: “Diabetic foods have no extra nutritional value and are more expensive. Diabetes UK advises that people with diabetes have the same healthy, balanced diet (that is low in fat, sugar and salt) as people without the condition. We are calling for an end to the use of the terms ‘diabetic foods’ and ‘suitable for diabetics’ on food labels altogether.
Other diabetes myths include:
Type 2 diabetes is mild diabetes
If you have diabetes you can’t drive
People with diabetes can’t play sport
There are more than 337,000 people with diabetes in London and up to 70,000 who have the condition but don’t know it. Consultant Endocrinologist, Dr Steve Hyer has prepared an excellent plain English article for anyone wishing to understand the reasoning behind and the different methods for measuring and controlling blood sugar levels .