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Language and stigma

It’s important to recognise the power of language and the impact it can have on individual – our response to an article in The Sun.
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Kate Lawton 28 April 2023

As a type 1 diabetes charity we were disappointed to read an article in The Sun, which used the term ‘couch potatoes’ in reference to people with type 1 diabetes.

We understand that the purpose of the article was to promote some great research about how ‘activity snacking’ can help people with type 1 diabetes to spend more time with their blood sugar levels in target range.

Unfortunately, the language used perpetuates harmful stereotypes about people living with type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that has nothing to do with lifestyle or dietary habits. Using language that implies otherwise only serves to stigmatise and shame those with this condition, leading to harmful misconceptions and discrimination.

It’s important to recognise the power of language and the impact it can have on individuals and communities. Using accurate and respectful language is a crucial step in promoting understanding and reducing stigma around medical conditions.

We’d like to invite the team at The Sun for a cuppa to discuss why language matters and meet some of our colleagues who live with type 1 and hear their experiences about living with stigma through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood and the impact it has on their wellbeing.

Get in touch with us if you’d like to take up the offer.