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Employment Today, HR Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Employment Today, HR Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - People Management

Diabetes sufferers stigmatised at work

Diabetes sufferers stigmatised at work
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Publication Date:
New Zealand

Voxy reports that the Diabetes New Zealand Stigma Survey of people with diabetes has found that 10 per cent of survey respondents have been discriminated against at work because of their condition.

Diabetes New Zealand CEO, Heather Verry said this is an alarming statistic when, barring a medical crisis, there is nothing about diabetes that affects a person's ability to work. The survey revealed that people with diabetes experienced blame and judgement from others. Many of those surveyed had received comments from others on what they ate, with an astounding 68 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes and 40 per cent of those with type 2 diabetes being judged for their food choices. Some have been left out of social events involving food or drink that other people think they shouldn't have.

Respondents were dismayed at how often others made them feel diabetes was their fault. For example, 60 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes say others blame them and think the condition is a result of eating too much sugar. Mrs Verry said it was hardly surprising then that 39 per cent of respondents avoid telling people they have diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by an auto-immune reaction where the body’s defence system attacks the cells that produce insulin, for reasons medical science does not fully understand yet. Mrs Verry said it was a gross oversimplification to ascribe type 2 diabetes to lifestyle alone. While we know a lot about the risk factors for type 2 diabetes, no-one knows exactly what has caused a particular individual to develop the condition.

Mrs Verry said we can all help by being more aware of the realities of living with diabetes and being more respectful in what we say to, and about, people with diabetes. Thinking about the words we use will help those with the condition feel more accepted and supported.


People Mentioned:
Heather Verry
Organisations Mentioned:
Diabetes New Zealand
Reference No:

From Alert24 - People Management

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