aims to stop diabetes bullying
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(Top Posts -
Science - 060509)
6 June 2009
by Jane Elliott
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Video -- The Diabetes UK video hopes to help put
the record straight about Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 bullying video - Setting the record straight
Bodeker was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the
age of 14.
For the first six months she injected her insulin openly, but
a crass remark by a fellow pupil on a school trip changed
"I had to inject halfway up a mountain doing adventurous
things and I had to inject in front of everyone," said Louise,
who is from Oxfordshire.
"One of the lads made a massive thing of it saying: 'Why do
you have to do that in front of everybody? It's gross.'"
Louise's confidence was knocked and it was a long time
before she felt happy injecting in public again.
Worried by the experience of Louise, 18, and teenagers like
her, the charity Diabetes UK has launched a short viral video
called Setting the Record Straight, which is aimed at teaching
children and young people the truth about Type 1 Diabetes.
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I go out for a meal and I have to do my insulin at the table...
the looks I get are quite disturbing
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A viral is a video that spreads quickly via the internet and has
been used successfully by a number of companies for advertis-
ing their products - from eyebrow-wiggling children to advertise
chocolate bars, to impromptu dances in stations to promote
Amanda Neylon, Diabetes UK digital media manager, said it
hoped its video, which shows a group of teenagers teasing a
young girl about her condition, will have a good saturation
among young people.
This is the second time Diabetes UK has used viral videos,
although this is the first time one is aimed at those without the
condition as well as those with diabetes.
"We had a good response last time and a lot of comments from
people wanting us to make clear about the distinctions between
Type 1 and 2.
Louise was hurt by comments about her injecting
"The anti-bullying viral video is a different way of letting young
people know more about Type 1 diabetes and helping them
understand that other young people with the condition should
not be singled out or victimised," she said.
"We know that young people are especially receptive to new
technologies and we are always keen to use the internet and
social networking sites to communicate with them."
The film is available on YouTube, social networking sites such
as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo, and the Diabetes UK
It can also be directly embedded into websites or blogs.
Libby Dowling, a care adviser with Diabetes UK, said that
when it had asked young people for their feedback about living
with the condition, many had been hurt by misconceptions about
"What we really need to do is to raise the awareness around
children with Type 1 diabetes," she said.
"It is still quite a misunderstood condition. There are still a lot
of myths and misconceptions and downright discrimination.
"In the media there is an awful lot about children being overweight
and the link to that and developing Type 2.
"That is an important message to get across.
"But we have to remember that the vast majority of children with
diabetes have Type 1, and that is nothing at all to do with being
overweight or lifestyle factors.
"It is something that could not be prevented and it is important that
we do not ignore the needs of this big group of young people."
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Type 1 Facts
Type 1 diabetes - also known as insulin-dependent diabetes - devel-
ops in those whose bodies are unable to produce insulin
Classed as an autoimmune disease, Type 1 diabetes is the most
common form of diabetes in children, affecting up to 95% of under-
16s who have the disease
Unlike Type 2 diabetes - which is more common in adults - Type 1
diabetes is not related to lifestyle factors
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She added: "Nowadays young people are texting and e-mailing. The
traditional leafleting that I grew up with are just not appropriate."
She said that young people with diabetes have been dubbed "drug-
gies" or taunted about their lifestyle.
Seventeen-year-old Katie, from Merseyside, said her teacher made
her inject in the school toilets to avoid offending others and she was
warned her needles might be considered a weapon.
"That knocked my confidence," said Katie.
"It is a type of bullying. Other students were saying they did not want
me to do my insulin around them as it made them feel sick.
"I want to say if you don't like looking at it don't look. People said
things like 'do you have the one where you have too much sugar or
too little?' They ask questions like: 'Were you fat? Or have you eaten
too many jammy dodgers?' and I get comments and funny looks when
I inject. I go out for a meal and I have to do my insulin at the table.
They liken it to drug abuse and the looks I get are quite disturbing."
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