Over 100 students from Al Bayan Preparatory School for Girls were oriented on diabetes prevention through an outreach event conducted by Qatar University College of Pharmacy (QU-CPH) faculty, students and alumni in support of World Diabetes Month. The College also handed out pedometers to encourage the students to exercise and count their steps daily, with their PE teachers pledging to monitor their efforts. The aim was to give young students hands-on insight into the causes of diabetes and obesity and the risk of developing these diseases due to consuming excessively-sugared drinks and over-processed foods, and prolonged physical inactivity.
Through visual displays set up at information stations each manned by a senior or graduate pharmacy student, the Grade 7-9 students learned about the level of sugar content in iced coffees and soft drinks and were engaged in a game of matching sugar content to drinks such as Coke and Pepsi. They also played quizzes on IPads to test their knowledge of disease prevention and learned of their increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes from lack of physical activity and obesity. “I’m drinking five cans of Coke per day. Now I realize how much sugar this is and way above my daily limit of 30 grams. I am going to drink less”, one student commented.
CPH Dean Dr Ayman El-Kadi said: “This was an important outreach to explain in the students’ first language Arabic the importance of following a healthy lifestyle. With Qatar reportedly among the top five countries for overweight adults and with a female population at its heaviest in 30 years, the College took this opportunity to orient young girls about the risks and prevention of diabetes and attendant causes. This is in line with our commitment to the healthcare objectives expressed in the National Health Strategy 2011-2016”.