The Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College, Vellore, conducted essay and painting competitions for school students recently. This was in connection with the World Diabetes Day to create awareness of risk factors among younger generation.

Diabetes is an emerging global health issue and it is of paramount importance for the youth to understand the condition, its risk factors, complications and preventive strategies. Themes for the competition, ‘risk factors for diabetes’ or ‘healthy lifestyle choice’ were aimed at priming children towards understanding the importance of adopting preventive strategies. A condition like diabetes is a health risk and known to be caused by unhealthy lifestyle. “Cultivating a healthy behaviour during childhood is much simpler in comparison to asking an adult to give up on an unhealthy lifestyle choice,” said Nihal Thomas, professor and head of the department. Competitive activities such as paintings and essays on diabetic themes would improve their knowledge about diabetes and stimulate them to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviour. In keeping with the objective of World Diabetes Day, these competitions are effective health promotion measures not just for school children but also their families, he said.

About 200 students and 25 teachers participated in the essay, painting and quiz competitions.