Global diabetes awareness event at Capitol this Sunday

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 08-Nov-2010

Hundreds of Oklahomans will join people around the globe for World Diabetes Day on Sunday, Nov. 14 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Senate Concurrent Resolution 34, authored by Sen. Constance N. Johnson and Rep. Randy McDaniel, passed during the 2010 legislative session and designates November 14 as World Diabetes Day in Oklahoma. This is the second year Oklahoma has participated in the event.

“We know that the root causes of the most common kind of diabetes are many, including poverty, economic barriers to healthy foods such as marketing snares hindering healthy food choices, poor nutritional habits, lack of physical activity, obesity, and genetic predispositions reinforced by years of the same behaviors,” said Sen. Johnson, a Democrat from east Oklahoma City. “On November 14 and beyond we will explore ways to assist those living with or at-risk of developing diabetes to manage it and/or prevent onset.”

More than 20 local and national organizations will be on hand to offer free information and education about diabetes prevention, management, and advocacy.  A variety of breakout sessions will be presented on eating, foot care, and vision care as well as topics related to diabetes education and prevention. Certified Diabetes Educators will be available during the event to answer questions from attendees. Screenings will also be provided for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition that affects many with diabetes.

“Diabetes is a growing crisis especially in Oklahoma where one in ten citizens suffers from the disease.  One of our greatest responsibilities as public officials is to help protect and improve the health of our citizens, and that’s why this event is so important,” said Rep. McDaniel, an Edmond Republican.  “I hope citizens will take advantage of all the resources that will be available at this event.  By educating ourselves, we can help stop this disease.”

In 2009, Oklahomans spent $1.86 billion in diabetes related care.  Diabetes is the leading cause of heart attacks, strokes, amputations, blindness, kidney failure, and fetal mortality.

During the event, various individuals with diabetes will be sharing their personal stories. Guests can get free glucose monitors along with training, blood pressure and glucose screenings, and referrals. Participants are asked to enter through the west door of the State Capitol Building and proceed to the fourth floor rotunda. Vendor opportunities are still available.

In 2008, over 1,000 prominent monuments were lit in blue in recognition of World Diabetes Day. In order to raise awareness about the importance of diabetes prevention and management, the Oklahoma State Capitol dome will be lit blue on the day of the event.