A popular Surry Hills cafe has been forced to delete a Facebook update and apologise to hundreds of furious people after naming one of their desserts “diabetes”.
The Paramount Coffee Project uploaded a picture of their new cronut dessert to Facebook on Sunday last week, inviting people to "come on in and ask for diabetes".
Almost 200 comments, from the polite to the outright abusive, were left on the image before it was deleted. Since then, their Facebook review page has been filling up with angry, one-star reviews.
"I can't even imagine how you can think it is ok to name any kind of item after any disease. You need to educate your self. This sends the wrong message to our small children living with type one diabetes. They see this as well as a bunch of others that are completely uneducated about the disease to make it seem as if you will get Diabetes by eating to much sugar. That is not the case. I hope as my 8yr old type one diabetic daughter grows up and does not have to deal with inconsiderable people like you. I do believe you owe the whole DOC (diabetic online community) an apology, We do not take a 'joke' like this lightly. You should also give a generous donation to JDRF or Dr. Denise Faustmans funding to find a cure for type one diabetes," wrote one diabetes carer.
The onslaught occurred after consumer advocate Renza Scibilia published a blog post calling on people living with diabetes to let the café know why the name was insensitive.
Ms Scibilia, who is also the manager of type one diabetes programs at national peak body Diabetes Australia, told Fairfax Media the diabetes community has had enough of “jokes” like these.
“Comments like these are boring, stigmatising and add to the misconception of what life with diabetes is like,” Ms Scibilia said.
Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia with over a million Australians already diagnosed.
Ms Scibilia says living with the chronic health condition is made harder by having to battle misconceptions and unnecessary guilt every day.
“We’re a big online community now. We want people to know that you do anything silly like this and you’ll need to be prepared because we’ll come at you,” she said, adding there was never any need to get abusive.
Cafe spokeswoman Kate Fisher told Fairfax Media she was truly sorry to anyone they may have offended in the diabetes community.
“Having written the comment myself I can tell you that this was never intended to hurt or upset anyone, nor do my comments represent what the Paramount Coffee Project represents,” Ms Fisher said.
“Naming a dessert 'diabetes' was only ever meant innocently, with no disrespect to the diabetes community. As soon as I was alerted to the offence I have caused, the menu item and all posts have been pulled down and I have issued an apology over social media.”
Ms Scibilia says Paramount’s rapid and sensitive response should be welcomed by the diabetic community.
“They messed up, it was stupid but they’ve done the right thing and as a community we should accept and embrace that, and even say thanks for getting it.”
Almost one million adults are currently diagnosed with this condition and Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study predicted this number would grow to 3.3 million by 2031.
There three kinds of diabetes: insulin-dependant type one, gestational, and adult onset diabetes, also known as type two.
Type two is the most common, with almost a million people living with the condition. The study estimates around 280 people develop diabetes type two every day. Of these new cases, they estimate 58 per cent can be prevented with healthier lifestyles.
Type one and gestational diabetes can not be prevented.