Type 2 diabetes

Reality TV show may feed diabetes stigma

Fears have been expressed that a reality TV show that aims to help contestants ‘reverse’ their type 2 diabetes through diet and exercise will fuel the stigma already widely experienced by people living with diabetes.

Called “Reversed,” the show is hosted by Charles Mattocks, nephew of the late Bob Marley and an entrepreneur who is well known in the US for managing his own diabetes with diet and exercise.

In an interview with Boston based news publication STAT Mattocks, the executive producer and creator of the 10-week programme due to be aired on Discovery Life, said he originally imagined the show as “‘The Biggest Loser’ meets diabetes,” (see video here).

The show’s primary sponsor is MannKind, an insulin manufacturer that markets the insulin powder Afrezza®.

But well known blogger Rick Phillips, who has type 1 diabetes,  says he fears the programme will fuel the stigma faced by many people living with diabetes.

“What I just cannot get over is that a major manufacturer in the diabetes space is associating itself with a diabetes program called “Reversed…  I hate that word when it relates to diabetes.

To me, that name is designed to promote the program playing off the stigma associated with diabetes, ” he wrote in his latest blog titled ‘the blame game’.

“I expressed that sentiment a few days ago to MannKind and I told them I feel the name of the program is an affront to those who like myself get all that negative crap about diabetes.”

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