Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Diabetes UK campaign

First do no harm: a response to Louise Ansari, Diabetes UK

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 15 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g153
  1. Koula Asimakopoulou, senior lecturer in health psychology1,
  2. Jane Speight, professor2,
  3. Timothy Skinner, professor and head of school3
  1. 1Unit of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Dental Institute, King’s College London, London SE5 9RW, UK
  2. 2Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (a partnership between Diabetes Australia—Victoria and Deakin University), Melbourne, Vic, Australia
  3. 3Psychological and Clinical Sciences, Charles Darwin University, Casuarina, NT 0810, Australia
  1. koula.asimakopoulou{at}

We were interested to read the letter from Diabetes UK’s director of communications defending the organisation’s recent campaign designed to raise awareness of the seriousness of type 2 diabetes.1

The campaign, showing various versions of tearful adults, offered no concrete knowledge message except for the emotional devastation associated with diabetes. Such fear campaigns do not help prompt preventive health action unless they also offer the target audience meaningful ways to engage in reducing the …

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