Diabetes is a medical condition that affects about 382 million people around the world. By the end of 2035, it is estimated that more than 592 million people or one person in ten will have this condition. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014 released by CDC, more than 29 million people in the United States (9.3 percent) have diabetes. Diabetic people are at increased risk of developing severe health complications including vision loss, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney failure, cholesterol, amputation of feet or legs and premature death.
These new figures are alarming and highlight the need for increased focus on lowering the impact of this condition in the country. In order to increase awareness about the potential effects and complications associated with diabetes, “World Diabetes Day” is celebrated on November 14 every year.
World Diabetes Day was jointly launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in 1991. A truly global event, this day is observed by more than 200 member associations in more than 160 different countries. This event comprises campaigns, meetings, lectures, screenings, and activities which can be highly effective in spreading more awareness about this syndrome, its causes, its prevention and the devastating effects that it brings on human lives and healthcare systems worldwide.
The logo for this year’s celebration is a “Blue circle”, which marks the global symbol for diabetes. The circle symbolizes life and health and the blue color reflects the sky that unites all the nations. “Healthy Living and Diabetes” is the theme for this year’s celebration. As part of this celebration, different events and activities are organized on a global scale to raise awareness, drive prevention and early detection of this disease. The different activities organized include –
- Sports programs
- Public information meetings
- Press conferences
- Poster and leaflet campaigns
- Newspaper and magazine articles
- Monument lightings
- Human blue circles
- Free screenings for diabetes and its complications
- Events for children and adolescents
- Workshops and exhibitions
The key focus of the campaign is to increase awareness regarding how healthy food choices can be made by individuals. The key messages of the campaign include:
- Make healthy food the easy choice
- Healthy eating – Make the right choice
- Healthy eating begins with breakfast
This event signifies the need for people to join together and take adequate steps towards promoting a healthy lifestyle. Sedentary lifestyle is one prominent factor that has led to an alarming increase in cases of diabetes. Therefore, opting for a healthy lifestyle combining regular exercise and healthy diet is of utmost importance to curtail the occurrence of this condition and control it. In addition, going for preventive health check-ups would be advisable. For instance, individuals above 45 years of age are in the high risk zone particularly if they are overweight. It is crucial for such people to follow weight loss programs and health check-ups to better manage this condition.