This was the statement that was broadcast to the nation by channel 4's 'Hestons Mission Impossible' on the 1st March 2011.
Parents of children with type 1 diabetes will have been jumping up and down with rage, shouting at the television, for once again failing to distinguish between the two main types of diabetes. This happens a lot, the recent 'change for life' campaign made the same mistake. It said that adopting a more healthy lifestyle would reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes.
Yes, both of thoses statements are true, about type 2 diabetes. Adopting a healthier lifestyle, eating less fat, less sugar and exercising more, will, reduce the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes as it is a condition which is mostly environmental.
However, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, this is where the body turns on itself and attacks it's own cells. In this case it is the islet cells in the pancreas that ar attacked and the pancreas shuts down. It is thought that this is caused by a virus ie flu, chicken pox, normal everyday viruses that in some unfortunate people causes the pancreas to do this. At the moment nothing can be done to prevent this from happening, you could say that we were just unlucky.
Eating too much popcorn did NOT cause my sons diabetes.
Eating too many sweets did NOT cause my sons diabetes.
Drinking fizzy drinks did NOT cause my sons diabetes.
A virus DID cause my sons diabetes.
Children who have type 1 diabetes and their families already have enough to deal with, what they don't need is misinformed people telling them that it is their fault, that they are to blame, that something they did caused their children to get this life taking condition.
So, when you hear diabetes being spoken about please remember that there are at least two different types, which are completely different conditions, because more often than not the distinction won't be made, and up and down the country us parents will once again will be sighing, as our children will have been let down again.