The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and others are hosting a health fair on the steps of the Capitol today for people to learn more about preventing and managing diabetes. The fair begins at 4 p.m. After sunset, the white building will be washed in a blue hue honoring World Diabetes Day.
The Capitol and hundreds of sites around the world will be lit in blue to direct attention to growing concerns over the escalating threat of diabetes worldwide.
“I am deeply concerned that type 2 diabetes is occurring in more and more of California’s children, especially since the disease is largely preventable,” said Dr. Mark Horton, a pediatrician and director of CDPH. “This is a serious public health issue, but we can turn it around by changing the environment to make healthy choices easier by encouraging parents to pay closer attention to their kids’ eating habits and physical activity.”
Activities at the fair include Tony Award-winning actor, dancer and singer Ben Vereen, who will speak about his own challenges as someone living with diabetes. The chair of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport, Jake “Body by Jake” Steinfeld, will also be on hand to encourage Californians to increase their physical activity. The event will also include physical activity demonstrations and healthy food tasting. The fair was organized by CDPH, the American Diabetes Association, California Diabetes Program, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and many others. The event will run until 8:30 p.m.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that the number of Americans with diabetes is projected to double or even triple by 2050. As many as one-in-three U.S. adults could have diabetes by that date if current trends continue. In California, diabetes has grown by 40 percent in the last 10 years and is considered an epidemic; there are more than 3.7 million people with diabetes, equating to one-in-seven adults. Of these, 1.4 million adults have undiagnosed diabetes. Furthermore, it’s estimated that 7.9 million people in California have prediabetes, a condition that increases risk for developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years.
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, blindness, amputations and a major contributor to heart attacks and strokes. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, can be prevented by healthful eating, physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight.
California State Capitol 2009