Essay by kissmybumHigh School, 12th gradeA+, June 2003

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Diabetes is a developmental disease, characterized by high blood glucose levels, caused

by an improper functioning of the pancreas. The pancreas produces insulin which allows

our body's cells to absorb glucose ( a form of sugar) to be used when energy is needed. If

the pancreas becomes unable to produce insulin, or does not produce it effectively, it leads

to high levels of glucose in the blood, which causes health problems.

The major risk factors for diabetes include:

Being over 35, and the risk increases dramatically with age

Being overweight

Having a family history of diabetes

Having a diet high in saturated fats and refined sugar

Frequent use of alcohol

Over the last two decades there has been a significant increase in the number of

people, particularly with Type 2 diabetes, and it is now a major cause of morbidity and

early mortality.

In most cases Diabetes is a preventable disease, as the major, modifiable risk

factors involve simple lifestyle choices such as diet and amount of physical activity.

Despite this, diabetes is the 7th highest cause of death among Australians and its incidence

is on the rise in Australia and world-wide. Thus it has become a National Health Priority

Area, and through an holistic approach to health, prevention, detection and proper

management can be achieved.

My Public Diabetes Awareness Campaign (P.D.A.C.) focuses on the average

Australian, empowering them through awareness of the disease, it's risk factors, and

differentiating symptoms. Through knowledge and education, the individual has the power

to make informed choices relating to their health. This would follow closely the principles

of the New Public Health Approach, that prevention is better than cure. While the

campaign targets the average individual, the location and placement of the billboard/poster

and pamphlet would specifically focus on those individuals most at risk.