'Fuller House' Faces Backlash over Diabetes Misinformation

Diabetes is a growing condition around the world, but there are still many people for whom the condition is unknown. They may not know anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, which means their knowledge of diabetes comes from other sources – books, or more often television.

Unfortunately, television writers can sometimes be just as misinformed as their viewers. And when that happens, it can lead to backlash like the cast of Fuller House is facing now.

A Tasteless Joke

Fuller House, a Netflix-produced spin off on the 80s/90s sitcom Full House, follows the now-grown D.J. Fuller (nee Tanner) as she raises her three sons after their father's passing. One scene in season 2 highlights just how “uncool” a parent D.J. is; when Halloween comes along, she hands out raisins and type 1 diabetes pamphlets instead of candy.

To the average viewer, this seems like an easy, throwaway joke. To those who live with diabetes, however, it was another sign of society's failure to understand our illness. As Brittney, a blogger for The Diabetic Journey, pointed out:

“While the comment is used for comedy as a punchline; it’s a misconception that sugar causes diabetes and it feeds into the stigma many live with everyday...

Sugar will NOT cause “Juvenile Diabetes”.

Childhood obesity is a real issue and raises the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, but there is absolutely no link between obesity and Juvenile Diabetes or (Type 1 Diabetes).”

A Response From the Fullers

Fuller House's gaff is just one instance of a greater issue: the lack of education regarding each type of diabetes. Following the response to this episode, actress and Fuller House star Candace Cameron Bure released a statement on her Facebook page. Bure thanked The Diabetic Journey for enlightening her, saying:

“Thank you for this post and informing me about the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. I know the writers, producers and us actors did not intend to offend, imply false information or make light of diabetes and those affected by it. I wish I knew this information at the time of filming, but have heard your voices and am glad I know now! Thank you. I am posting this article so others will know too. Blessings to you all.”

As diabetes becomes more prevalent in our world, it becomes more important to get the correct information out there – even on our sitcoms.

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