How Bollywood dances around diabetes

JOURNAL TALK


When it comes to the portrayal of illness in movies, Hollywood has quite rightly been given a lot of stick for trivialising or stigmatising ailments such as autism (Rain Man), cancer (The Bucket List) and mental health (Psycho).

But when it comes to diabetes, we should turn the spotlight onto Bollywood for misrepresenting what is a very common disease — with more than 62 million cases, India tops the world for rates of diabetes.

Mumbai’s studios may deliver when it comes to high-energy dance sequences at family weddings, but they fail to engage with the reality of diabetes, according to Professor Sanghamitra Pati, a public health physician in New Delhi.

Writing in the Lancet Diabetes Endocrinology, Professor Pati says that, despite the huge burden of diabetes in the country, it is portrayed only occasionally and inaccurately in Bollywood productions.

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