JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charity, has welcomed the appointment of Dr Jonathan Valabhji as the new National Clinical Director for obesity and diabetes for England.
Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF, said: “Dr Valabhji’s background as a clinician specialising in diabetes is particularly welcome. It means we can be hopeful that he will not allow the UK’s response to diabetes to be disproportionately dominated by the anti-obesity agenda. The anti-obesity agenda risks clouding the crucial fact that for many thousands of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, lifestyle was not an influencing factor. A focus on obesity supports a ‘blame culture’, and undermines efforts to develop better treatment and ultimately cure the conditions. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition and is not caused by lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. Type 2 diabetes is sometimes linked to diet and exercise – but not always. The need for the UK to tackle its obesity problem must not obscure the equal need for the Government to back greater investment in research to cure, prevent and develop better treatment for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.”