Dear Jamie Oliver

It’s time for another open letter.

Dear Jamie Oliver,

Your campaign about ensuring kids have clean drinking water is great, however it's overshadowed by this image. I’m going to run on the assumption that you didn’t intend to cause offense and set back diabetes awareness by light-years.

You did however choose to pose in front of a can labelled diabetes holding up packets of sugar. You said on twitter that that image was a background at any event.

I'm fairly certain that wasn't an accidental backdrop. You made your choice to stand there- own it.

I’m guessing you’re trying to “help” people avoid diabetes by advocating for less sugar in our diets.

What you did was project a huge stereotype that I’m getting really tired of correcting.
You, someone who is looked to for advice about balanced eating, have put forward the idea that diabetes is caused by sugar.

It’s not.

Type 1 is an autoimmune disease with both genetic and environmental factors (now believed to be a common virus). The body’s immune system begins to attack the insulin producing cells on the pancreas because of these two factors.

Type 2 is considered a lifestyle disease however it is not solely caused by poor eating habits. Not everyone who is overweight has type 2 and not every type 2 is overweight, genetics can play a part.

So now, people I know are going to see this image on the web and jump to the conclusion that diabetes= disease caused by sugar.

You made an apology that was generic and did not give any new and accurate information. Now that you have provided this inaccurate image, it is your responsibility to correct it.

People listen to you, and no matter how much I (and many others) sit here on our blogs, social media sites and email accounts typing away about what diabetes actually is, people like you will be the ones that are heard.

So give the people something accurate, or say nothing about it at all.

Kind regards,

A type 1 who’s really bored of spending the last 5 years correcting this.


  1. I love the way this is so honest and true! Good on you. Do you mind if I share some of your posts on fb?


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