The number of Type 2 diabetes cases in children from poor and minority families is continually rising. In fact, over 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes/prediabetes, but 8.1 million may be undiagnosed and unaware of their condition (HealthLine). Many of these individuals are estimated to be underprivileged children in poor areas. Fortunately, public health experts and art educators are joining forces to reduce the risk of diabetes by spreading awareness through self-expression.
According to Iconoculture, The Bigger Picture is a company that created an art program meant to spread awareness on the topic of addressing Type 2 diabetes in underprivileged youth. The program encourages young adults to view Type 2 diabetes as a social justice problem, with ties to stress, poverty, violence, and sparse access to fresh and affordable foods. In the program, poets and doctors host workshops in poor communities to educate people on Type 2 diabetes and facilitate spoken-word poetry as a response.
Most other campaigns tend to focus only on diet and exercise, typically blaming the patients, so this is a step in a new direction. The collaboration between UCSF School of Medicine and Youth Speaks is meant to lessen the Type 2 diabetes stigma, while promoting prevention through social change.