Efforts are being made to increase awareness about type II diabetes among students through unconventional methods such as poetry

By Disha Shetty and Denise Venero

Infographic: How Diabetes Affects Older AdultsPublic health campaign The Bigger Picture is a collaboration between the University of California and poetry program Youth Speaks that is advocating for type II diabetes through the unconventional method of spoken word poetry. Students who have viewed the group's videos and presentations have shown noticeable increase in interest level and a change in perspective of the causes of diabetes.

Formerly, there existed a common misconception that diabetes is a genetic disease, but this however, is not always the case. Diabetes can be caused by social and environmental factors which can be controlled and altered in order to prevent the spread of the epidemic.

College students need to be especially targeted because of the weight gain that 70% experience in their first years

Health professionals believe it is crucial to target college students since data has shown that more than 70 percent of students will gain weight during their first years of college. There is a strong pre-established correlation between high Body Mass Index (BMI) and diabetes, students who are overweight, obese, or have pre-diabetes can benefit from diabetes education from a young age.

Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2010, but this number could be greater since there are many unreported cases. Considering the high mortality rate and health risks associated with this disease, every possible method of prevention should be explored and embraced.

As a society we need to continue to educate our youth so that they can assist in prevention and continue to explore new solutions and spreading awareness 

Efforts are already being made to target and educate the younger generations. Campaigns such as Make the Grade ensure that students with diabetes have enough support in school and the Four T’s campaign, which helps recognize the four main common symptoms of Type I diabetes, is facilitating early diagnosis.

Since November is Diabetes Awareness month, it is only right to continue spreading awareness on this epidemic. It is crucial to educate ourselves on this topic and to facilitate this education, here is the video produced by Youth Speaks and the University of California.

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