Member of parliament (MP), Derek Thomas, issued an apology after voicing his opinion about diabetes on his Facebook page, earlier this month. In the post, the conservative MP called the disease “completely avoidable with diet and exercise.”
The comments, which have since been removed, were made following a blood test that was given to members of parliament as part of a national diabetes awareness campaign. In response, hundreds of people left comments on the post informing Thomas that his sentiments were offensive and hurtful. Moreover, many people offered the MP some education about just how unavoidable the disease often is.
Thomas later explained that he was attempting to shed light on ways people can help themselves through diet and exercise. He offered a sincere apology for his poor choice of words in a second post. Additionally, he offered a compilation of information he has since learned about the disease, as well as an excerpt from a letter he received about diabetes from one of his constituents, which voiced their personal frustrations with common misconceptions about the condition. Thomas voiced a desire for the problem to be addressed in next year’s public health agenda, with an emphasis on non-discrimination.
Have you encountered people who have misconceptions about diabetes? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.Whizzco