EastEnders criticised by viewers and Diabetes UK for 'absolutely disgusting' diabetes joke

'If the kids don't give themselves diabetes it's not a good party is it?'

Kim Fox’s “absolutely disgusting” joke about diabetes on EastEnders has fallen flat with viewers.

Fans of the BBC soap took to social media to voice their anger when the character, who was preparing for her daughter Pearl’s 1st birthday party, quipped: “If the kids don’t give themselves diabetes, it’s not a good party is it?”

Viewers began pointing out that the line was factually wrong as children do not get diabetes from eating too many sweets.

“Epic diabetes fail on EastEnders,” one viewer wrote, with others left “infuriated” by the lack of research on display. 

Diabetes charity Diabetes UK noticed the tweets and contacted EastEnders, who will be “speaking to their research team”. 

A spokesperson for EastEnders said: “As regular EastEnders viewers known, Kim (played by Tameka Empson) has long been established as a facetious character who usually gets more things wrong than right. 

EastEnders has a rich history of covering important issues such as diabetes and has addressed the realities of living with the condition through the character Paul Coker, whose condition will be featured more in the future.”

Sugar plays no role in getting diabetes. Type 1 is caused by the pancreas not producing insulin, the hormone that controls the amount of glucose in the blood. It is the most common type of childhood diabetes.

Media regulator Ofcom has received 39 complaints about the episode and will assess them before deciding whether or not to investigate.