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Let's change perspective: Unconscious bias

In the UK, 4.9 million people live with diabetes1. New survey data from Abbott shows that 73% of people with diabetes in the UK have seen stigmatising behaviour towards the condition2 which negatively impacts their emotional wellbeing and can lead to worse health outcomes3,4.

We need to act now. It’s time for everyone to change perspective, confront unconscious bias and reduce the stigma around diabetes. A condition predicted to impact 5.5 million people in the UK by 2030.5

Let’s Change Perspective aims to tackle diabetes stigma by examining the impact of unconscious bias and provide helpful tools. The campaign has been developed by Abbott, with expert support from the diabetes community.

Together, we have developed a practical guide to tackle diabetes stigma starting to change the conversation and, hopefully, perspectives.


Mr. Stigma

By Duke Al, spoken word poet

Introducing Mr. Stigma, a representation of stigmatisation that people living with diabetes experience. Mr. Stigma is up for trial against his actions and the piece highlights the effects stigmatisation can have and how serious it can be, showing the importance of education.

Understanding diabetes stigma survey

As the number of people living with diabetes continues to rise, we launched the first UK–wide survey of both people living with and without diabetes to understand the lived experiences and public perceptions of diabetes stigma.

The results show the general public doesn’t recognise examples of stigma in everyday life, despite the majority of people with diabetes experiencing it, suggesting quite widespread unconscious bias exists.2

Take a look at the highlights from the Let’s Change Perspective survey data.

Stigma stories

Some members of the UK diabetes community have shared examples of their experience with stigma and how they think their experiences could have been improved. Take a look below and share your own #LetsChangePerspective story on social media.

Your guide to empowering conversations about diabetes

By coming together to confront unconscious bias and reduce diabetes stigma, we can begin to change perspectives and improve the emotional wellbeing of people living with diabetes.

Whether you’re living with diabetes or not, it can be difficult to know how to call out stigma. That’s why we’ve worked with representatives from the diabetes community to develop the Let’s Change Perspective Guide to help everyone feel able to address and confront unconscious bias in the here and now and reduce the stigma around diabetes.

Created in partnership with people living with diabetes and Deborah Christie, Professor of Paediatric and Adolescent Psychology & Consultant Clinical Psychologist, with input and guidance from Diabetes UK, the guide provides practical steps that we can all take to tackle diabetes stigma


References & Disclaimers

Images are for illustrative purposes only. Not real patient or data. 

1. Diabetes UK. Diabetes statistics Last accessed: January 2023.

2. Abbott Diabetes Care. Data on file. Survey among 1,500 participants*

3. Valentine V. 2019. The most important thing we give to people is hope: Overcoming stigma in diabetes and obesity. ADA Outstanding educator in diabetes award lecture. 33 (1): 89–94.

4. Liu NF. 2017. Stigma in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Clinical Diabetes. 35 (1): 27–34.

5. Diabetes UK (06 Oct 2021). 1-in-10 adults living with diabetes by 2030. Available at: Last accessed: January 2023.

* The research was commissioned by Abbott and conducted by Opinion Health in August 2022. The study had 1,500 participants from the UK, including 500 people with diabetes and 1000 members of general public.