A walk around Coimbatore’s famous 2.5 km circular walkers’ track on Monday marked the beginning of a three-day diabetes awareness and detection programme by Dr. Rajendran’s Diabetes Centre and The Hindu. This was organised in connection with the World Diabetes Day observance on November 14.
While the walk was to begin around 7 a.m., volunteers of the organisers were on the track at 5 a.m. to inform the regular morning walkers of the event, as their participation would add value to a programme that was aimed at stressing the importance of fitness in diabetes management, according to Chief Diabetologist of the centre V. Rajendran.
Playback singer Srinivas flagged off the walk around 7 a.m. and walked one full lap of 2.5 km. “A regular walker in Chennai, Mr. Srinivas felt it was his responsibility to generate awareness on diabetes,” the doctor said.
Dr. Rajendran said many regular walkers joined the awareness drive. “From school students to a couple of persons aged 80, we had a good turnout,” the diabetologist said. Some of the adult participants walked from Race Course to the diabetes centre’s expo and screening camp venue on Tiruchi Road.
Blood sugar level
Quite a number of them were keen to know whether they had diabetes and got their blood sugar level and other essential parameters evaluated. Persons accompanying elderly diabetics on their morning walk were also screened and some of them were found to have high blood sugar level. After being advised on diet and exercise, they were asked to come back after a couple of days to have the blood sugar level evaluated. Persons who were known cases of diabetes interacted with dieticians and doctors at the expo on safe and unsafe food.
The expo had laid out on a table three categories of food –red, yellow and green. The first one, which included sweets, was not to be touched by diabetics.
Those that could be consumed in moderation was categorised as yellow. The green section had all those that were good for diabetics. Myths surrounding diet and exercise were dispelled with explanation of benefits and dangers.
Asked why the walk was organised, Dr. Rajendran said that a large section of the public had a little bit of information walking helped in keeping fit. But, they need to be told how this went a long way in managing diabetes.