Communities get diabetes message

Having a hula of a time yesterday morning are (from left) Niko Fromont, Sam McKenzie, Pippin...
Having a hula of a time yesterday morning are (from left) Niko Fromont, Sam McKenzie, Pippin Caradus, Maddie Hall, Savanna Lorden, Lukas Wilson, Alice Hughson and Laker Linton (all 5), of Balaclava School, wearing blue as part of a school ``Do Blue Day'' to show their support of World Diabetes Day. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O'CONNOR
The Dunedin community responded to the city's biggest World Diabetes Day programme with a "great turnout" yesterday, Dr Andrew Reynolds said.

Dr Reynolds undertakes diabetes-related research as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Otago's department of medicine, and was one of the organisers of yesterday's awareness-raising events.

He is also a member of the Otago Southland Diabetes Research Trust, which was supporting the day, together with Diabetes Otago and WellSouth.

More than 300 members of the public had their blood glucose levels tested at the city's Meridian Centre.

Several Dunedin and Oamaru schools also contributed to the event for the first time, including by staging "Do Blue Day" activities, involving pupils dressed in blue clothing for the occasion.

Outram and Mornington schools also participated, as did Weston and Ardgowan schools in Oamaru.

And, for the first time, the trust and Diabetes Otago had organised wider activities spread over several other days, to enable World Diabetes Month to be fully celebrated in the city for the first time, he said.

"It's been fun - we've had a great response," Dr Reynolds said.

Bringing schools into the programme was a new twist, and it was "something we think will grow".

"We're really happy with the schools that are supporting `Do Blue'," he said.

School pupils could help spread the word about the need to be careful about what they ate, and to keep physically active.

"These kids might go home and talk to their parents about it."

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