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Bringing an end to diabetes stigma and discrimination.

Diabetes stigma and discrimination refers to the negative social judgments, stereotypes, and prejudices that unfairly affect people with diabetes all over the world. Around 4 in 5 people with diabetes have experienced diabetes stigma. Up to 1 in 3 people with diabetes have been discriminated against due to their diabetes.

diabetes stigma and discrimination

The impact of diabetes stigma

Diabetes stigma can have a negative impact on the health, wellbeing, professional and social lives of people with diabetes. It can also have a negative impact on public and government support and funding for diabetes research, prevention, clinical care and treatments. Here’s what our community had to say about diabetes stigma.

About the International Consensus on Diabetes Stigma and Discrimination

To bring an end to diabetes stigma and discrimination, 51 experts from 18 countries came together (including Sweet Life!) They have lived experience, research and clinical experience. They reviewed the scientific evidence and established an international consensus on 49 Statements of Evidence and Recommendations. They also achieved a consensus on a Pledge to bring an end to diabetes stigma and discrimination. The full report has been submitted for publication. It is currently under review.

Pledge to eliminate diabetes stigma

I / We PLEDGE to contribute pro-actively to bring an end to diabetes stigma and discrimination by:

  • Respecting people with all types of diabetes.
  • Recognising diabetes stigma exists and has harmful impacts.
  • Acknowledging and challenging my/our own prejudices about (people with) diabetes.
  • Using accurate, respectful, inclusive, non-judgmental, and strengths-based language, messaging, and imagery when communicating with or about people with diabetes.
  • Avoiding and challenging fear-based messaging and imagery.
  • Condemning discrimination due to diabetes and advocating for equal treatment and support for people with diabetes.
  • Encouraging initiatives, policies, and laws that promote equity for all people with diabetes.

    By taking this pledge, I am / we are committed, from here on, to creating a more compassionate and respectful world for people with diabetes, free from diabetes stigma and discrimination, and the harms they inflict.

Join the Collective: Endorse the Pledge

Experts across the world agree that a pivotal change is needed to bring an end to diabetes stigma. It starts with a collective commitment from all sectors of the diabetes community to challenge the status quo – the embedded negative judgements, stereotypes, and prejudice that are all around us, influencing discussions and decision-making about diabetes.

Please join us. Show your support by endorsing the Pledge at and sharing widely with other individuals and organisations. On social media, raise our collective voice to #EndDiabetesStigma

For more information

Check out the website. You can also contact any of the expert panel members to learn more. If you would like more information about:

  • The consensus, the Pledge, or how these were achieved, contact Jane Speight
  • How to get involved in sharing and promoting the Pledge, contact Matthew Garza

Expert Panel

The ‘International consensus recommendations to bring an end to diabetes stigma and discrimination’ was conducted by an Expert Panel. They developed, refined and endorsed the Pledge unanimously. Members of the expert group are listed below:

Show your support

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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.