Diabetes Awareness Month – Diabetes awareness and the blue circle
It is estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO) that over 347 million people worldwide have diabetes.
In the United States, the most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012 estimated that over 29 million people had diabetes.
Startlingly, almost 30 per cent of American adults have diabetes and are undiagnosed despite being linked to a health care provider.
This is why diabetes awareness is so crucial, with November of every year known as Diabetes Awareness Month, referred to as American Diabetes Month by the American Diabetes Association and National Diabetes Month by the JDRF.
Each year the aim is to increase knowledge of diabetes and let more people know about risk factors, uniting people with diabetes so that they know they are not facing the condition alone.
There are a number of projects that run during Diabetes Awareness Month to help raise awareness of diabetes, while World Diabetes Day is held every year on November 14, which also coincides with birthday of the man who co-discovered insulin, Frederick Banting.
Diabetes.co.uk first started the #BloodSugarSelfie campaign in March 2014, with 1.2 million people worldwide seeing the hashtag over the first two days and over 1,500 selfies received on social media. This campaign helped raise $6,715 for diabetic charities in just four days.
This November, the #BloodSugarSelfie campaign was used once again by Diabetes.co.uk and DiabetesCommunity.com to raise awareness of World Diabetes Day and show real blood glucose results from real people, underlining what people with diabetes have to manage on a day-to-day basis.
The hashtag was this time seen a staggering 4,239,432 times, while the previous record of blood sugar selfies within a 24-hour period was smashed as Diabetes.co.uk received 517 selfies, including one from Chaka Khan!
The blue circle has been the global symbol of diabetes since 2006, with the blue border of the circle reflecting the color of the sky and the United Nations flag.
Blue is therefore the color of diabetes awareness and for this reason, blue is featured in many diabetes awareness projects.
Among these include the #BlueStreakChallenge, which brings attention to diabetes awareness as people add a streak of blue to their locks to show support to their loved ones.
Project Blue November, meanwhile, is a cohesive social media campaign from a group of type 1 moms that aims to bring together awareness ideas, includingsetting a new photo challenge for each day in November.
The World Diabetes Day Blue Monument Challenge is one of the more elaborate projects, with iconic buildings and sites across the world lit up in blue on November 14.
Over 1,000 monuments and buildings in more than 80 countries have embraced blue, including Sears Tower, the London Eye and Brisbane City Hall.
Other movements designed to boost diabetes awareness include #FreeDiabetics, where individuals pose holding boards listing their crime as diabetes, their bail being a cure and their sentence listed as life.
Ultimately freeing people with diabetes from the chains that bind to them to the disease is the aim of the movement.
#Insulin4All is another project that adds a different perspective to diabetes awareness by putting the World back into World Diabetes Day campaigning.
The creators, T1International and The Pendsey Trust, joined forces to fight for healthcare, especially life saving insulin, to be made available and affordable in areas of the world where people are struggling to survive.
World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation, who were responding to concerns that diabetes was posing an escalating health threat.
Over the last 23 years, the message has been spread internationally and diabetes awareness is currently higher than ever before.
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