Thursday, January 15, 2009

JDRF Scores A Victory In the U.K.

One of the most persistent issues is the media's failure to clarify that it's routine statements that diabetes can be prevented with changes to diet and exercise. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, and no amount of exercise or changes to diet can prevent the disease from occurring. In recent years, there has been some progress in North America, largely due to vocal complaints from parents of children with type 1 diabetes in California successfully lodged a complaint about advertisements for the state-sponsored California Diabetes Program and forced the state to add the "type 2 diabetes" label to be included in the message. This week, JDRF was able to accomplish a similar feat in the U.K.

Type 1 Diabetes Campaigners Win Changes To Change4Life
January 15, 2009 - 2:00 PST

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the world's leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research, today welcomed an announcement from the United Kingdom's Department of Health that it will amend its Change4Life campaign.

Parents of children with type 1 diabetes have campaigned for clarification that obesity can be a contributing factor to type 2 diabetes, not type 1 diabetes.

TV advertising for the Change4Life campaign, which has been aired around children's programmes, said obesity can cause diabetes, but did not distinguish between the different types of diabetes.

A spokesperson from the Department of Health said that the complex information was put in a 'simple, brief form so that everyone can understand it.' The decision has now been taken to modify the Change4Life advertising materials.

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF commented: 'Although JDRF fully supports the objectives of the Change4Life campaign, the failure to distinguish type 1 from type 2 has caused great distress to families living with type 1, especially children.

'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 pound each year into medical research to find the cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.

We have been working with our supporters to highlight this worry to the Government and we welcome this change.'

For more information on the campaign, visit For more information about JDRF's work to find the cure for type 1 diabetes, and how you can help, visit

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Anonymous said...


We are the parents of the children with type 1 who has 'ruffled' the DoH. We have been campaigning since Friday sending off letters and reactions from children and adults to these adverts, materials and newspaper articles.

We are still campaigning as the DoH are being very slow in releasing the correct wording. We will keep on at them until all the changes have been made.

Please visit our group on FacebooK " I am OUTRAGED at the Change4life campaign"



Jenny said...

Hopefully in another five years we will also have public acknowledgment that Type 2 diabetes in young children is a result of exposure to gene-damaging chemicals in the womb, NOT lifestyle.

Mt. Sinai Hospital is going ahead with a study of 100,000 children from conception to age 18 which will include measuring maternal and child blood and urine, testing of water, air and dust in the home, and using sophisticated genetic testing to learn what SNPs combine with epigentic damage to result in the epidemics of childhood autism, asthma and diabetes.

I eagerly await the outcome. No child should be blamed for developing any form of Type 2 diabetes. It can only occur in a child with a severely damaged metabolism.

Anonymous said...

I was aware of this development in the UK and appreciate this post - I note that there has not been anything in a month... I am a former JDRF volunteer (past 10 years) and find that I (and others) are spending more time with ADA. Taking stock, we found that JDRF was best as JDF under Peter Van Etten. There was vision and direction which diminished after Peter left and is now virtually non-existent. It is no longer volunteer driven - the inept senior staff is more concerned about political in-fighting and which program is raising the most money under which staff member than leveling all to one equal playing field with the target being - raising money for research to cure this horrid disease. Even during this bad economic time, they are not looking at communicating with volunteers, or getting back to basics. It's still promoting the silos. And staff in the field who is aware is afraid to speak out. How sad that a once thriving exciting organization has become the piece of meat between a pack of wolves. Tired of speaking to deaf ears, we are taking our time and money to an organization caring and deserving.

Anonymous said...

I am new to the site, but not the issues. I would like to try to find more resources. My 16 year old daughter has type 1 and I am trying to find as much information about where insulin is made, etc.. Following Dr. Faustman's research, and find new product as well.

Please post up, I haven't found as many informative links about the logistics of delivering insulin around the world, and this page has more than most sites combined!

Lyrehca said...

Hey-just wondering where you've been. Hope all's been OK with you, and that you're just taking a blogging break for a benign reason.