Diabetes is a health problem that affects people despite their age. The program targets the young and working class generation through social media campaigns. The purpose of this project is to spread awareness of what courses diabetes, how to avoid becoming diabetic by living a healthy life and how to live with diabetes.
In the past, diabetes was associated with aging people. However, today its course has changed. It would not be a surprise to hear a case of a five-year child who has diabetes. There are adverse conditions that come along with diabetes, which mostly affects the eyes, kidneys, feet, nerves, heart, and brain. A lot of myths have been formed behind the courses and cures of diabetes. A large population lives at risk of getting diabetes and some already living with diabetes. People have been misguided by theories formulated as to the course of diabetes, and most of them are not aware of the real courses or how they can avoid being diabetic. The young generation needs to be aware of the risk their lifestyle puts them in and how it can affect them in future.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of the project is to bring awareness to the general population on living healthy with diabetes or living healthy to avoid it. The project will focus on correcting mythical concepts that have been instilled in most people's minds, I being one of them till recently. Most believe that diabetes is coursed by consuming a lot of sugar, which is halfway true. Others believe that only obese people are at risk of becoming diabetic while some think it's a disease that only affects the older generation. These some of the myths and misconceptions that we need to bring awareness to fight diabetes effectively. Science has not proved the exact course of diabetes yet, but in most cases, it has been associated with the genetic history of a person. However, by living a healthy life, even people with a diabetic gene history have been able to avoid the disease. The main areas that will be covered by this campaign are nutrition and physical fitness. First of all, there's the theory that "If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop type 2 diabetes."(Diabetes Myths) That's not factually true. It's true that overweight people are at risk of developing diabetes, but statistically, most of them don't, and a lot of people with normal weight are living with diabetes. It is advisable that people should live a healthy life and maintain a normal body weight, but that should not be the only factor to consider as a way to prevent diabetes. Then there's the saying that "Eating too much sugar causes diabetes."(Diabetes Myths.) When it comes to health, not everything is in black and white. While diabetes is an effect of the body being unable to regulate the levels of sugar in the blood, sugar will always be necessary whether someone has diabetes or not. However, lifestyle behaviors do matter a lot when determining when a lot of sugar is too much sugar. "The American Diabetes Association recommends that people should avoid intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent diabetes." Most American food and beverages manufacturers now offer non-fat options on of their products. This is mainly due to a campaign by scientists in the 1960s that fat was the main course of obesity and heart disease (O'Connor, Anahad). To date people hold the same believe and companies opted to add more sugar to their products while reducing fat. This sweetening greatly increases the level of blood sugar which eventually leads to diabetes. From the above incident, we see a situation where people consume too much sugar even without their knowledge. For example, "Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda has about 150 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrate. This is the same amount of carbohydrate in 10 teaspoons of sugar". (Grains and Starchy Vegetables.) Bringing awareness to the amount of sugar we consume in products would be a great step towards combating diabetes. Then there's a myth that "People with diabetes should eat special diabetic foods."(Grains and Starchy Vegetables.) The answer to this is that everyone should practice a healthy diet. The recommended diet for everyone should be "low in saturated and trans fat, moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and fruit." Diabetic foods do not mainly hold any special benefit, and they tend to be more expensive than standard food.
The myths are many, but the sure way to live healthy with or without diabetes is the right diet and keeping your body fit. The aim is not to drastically change people's lifestyle to suit a documented version of healthy living. The objective is to teach people to change their diet and lifestyle for better health gradually. Regarding fitness it the campaign would recommend simple exercises as we go through our day to day activities. Most people consider exercises as going to the gym and burning as many calories as you can, but the truth is that act as simple as walking is a form of exercise. The main message about fitness should be "anything that gets you moving, such as walking, dancing, or working in the yard." The major focus of this proposal has been on a diet. The myth's behind it and what to avoid and what to add. The message will still be the same if you want to eat grains, eat whole grains, and if you have to take a beverage, take a non-sweetened drink. These messages might be simple but would go a long combat the ever-growing risk of diabetes. As said, the main focus of the project is to bring awareness to people on how they can avoid or live with diabetes by practicing a healthy living. The main target is the younger and working class generations who interact with new technology on a daily basis. The target group has the highest population, and it's more active in other things in the society. However, a large number in this group interact with the internet on a daily basis, and some are using social media as their main form of interaction with the society. It's easier, faster and cheaper to provide targeted campaigns through social media than any other platform.
EVIDENCE THAT THIS WILL WORK
Like HIV/AIDS diabetes has no cure. However, in the last three decades, we have seen increased effort added in creating awareness to the public about HIV/AIDS, how to live with it and how to avoid getting infected. This has seen the number of infections reduce by over 10% between 2010 and 2016. The number of deaths for those infected has also reduced, and there's an increased life expectancy. This is due to healthy living even if the virus does not have a cure (HIV in the United States | Statistics Overview | Statistics Center | HIV/AIDS | CDC.). If the equal amount of effort is directed to creating awareness about HIV/AIDS is directed to creating awareness about diabetes. There would be a significant fall in diabetic cases since unlike AIDS, diabetes is not contagious. In the long run, this would save the world approximately 245 billion dollars spent annually on diabetes cases in the United States alone (Type 2 Diabetes Statistics and Facts.).
- "Diabetes Myths."? American Diabetes Association, 2017, https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/myths.
- "Grains and Starchy Vegetables."? American Diabetes Association, 2017, https://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/grains-and-starchy-vegetables.html.
- "HIV in the United States | Statistics Overview | Statistics Center | HIV/AIDS | CDC."? Cdc.Gov, 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/overview/ataglance.html.
- O'Connor, Anahad. "How The Sugar Industry Shifted Blame To Fat."? Nytimes.Com, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/well/eat/how-the-sugar-industry-shifted-blame-to-fat.html.
- "Type 2 Diabetes Statistics And Facts."? Healthline, 2017, https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes/statistics.
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