Behavior change—getting people to increase physical activity and improve dietary intake is the prime challenge in diabetes prevention. To be effective, we must reach young children before their lifestyle habits are fully established.
Our school-based programs are at the core of our offerings. We believe they will be extremely effective in establishing a lifelong respect for exercise and healthy eating.
Diabetes Awareness and Prevention Education
We established a two-year school-based program for diabetes awareness and prevention education with compelling age-appropriate activities for 11-14-year-olds (6-8 grades). This program, developed in partnership with NGO HRIDAY in India, uses influencers such as teachers and peer leaders to reach and educate 11- to 14-year-olds about diabetes and its prevention. The comprehensive program includes classroom and school-based activities, as well as outreach efforts in students’ homes and communities.
We measure the program’s effectiveness through pre- and post- comparisons of the students’ self-reported knowledge, attitudes and behavior and are encouraged to learn that children reported a better awareness of diabetes and its prevention and had reduced their consumption of junk foods. We estimate that our Schools Program has achieved 15% impact (15% improvement in awareness and health behaviors).
Schools Program Expansion in India
Encouraged by the excellent results, we are now aggressively scaling up our program. Our two-year school health program has been adapted to rural India and is being implemented in 300,000 middle school children in 2019 from all over India. Funding has been secured for an additional 200,000 children.
Our Healthy Schools program is currently in the following Indian states:
- Andhra Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
- Uttar Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- West Bengal
Our partners include Hriday, Agastya International Foundation, Ashoka, SHARP, SRU and CINI.