by Raneen El-Barbarawi / Staff Reporter
As November marks the beginning of National Diabetes Month, Alpha Phi Omega decided to partake in National Diabetic Awareness by educating students through different events on and off campus.
APO held a tabling event in the cafeteria on the second floor of the Wabash Building on Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers provided flyers and information about how to maintain a healthy diet to prevent diabetes. They also distributed hygiene kits to the homeless on Nov. 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. as part of their outreach to the community. These hygiene kits also included flyers on self-cleanliness and papers with resources the homeless could reach out (such as insurance places.) Lastly, they held a “Come Plant with Us” event on Nov. 6 in which students/members planted herbs and discussed ways to prevent diabetes.
Jeya Manivannan, a senior majoring in biology and the APO vice president of service, explained that she organized these events for National Service Week to showcase that APO is a service fraternity. She also explained that APO wanted to create diabetic awareness for students and people in the community so they could be more precautious on how to eat healthy.
“I think it’s important for us to participate in National Service Week because it’s one of the stable things for our fraternity, and it’s smart to educate people on their health so people our age are more aware of what could happen to them in the future,” said Brooke Vanhoutte, a junior majoring in psychology and the president of APO.
“You should know what you’re taking into your body and the consequences of it… it’s something you have to be careful of,” said Manivannan. “This is important because it’s a way for us to learn, but it’s also a way to outsource the information that I have learned and tell it to the people around us.”
“I’m concerned that students don’t make the healthiest choice because it’s easier to buy food rather than make it, so I’m thinking that this way, they might understand that it’s not as hard as they think it is,” said Manivannan.
In fact, this year’s focus is aimed towards the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases said. World’s Diabetes Day is celebrated on Nov. 14 to raise awareness about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Blue represents the national color for diabetes.
“It’s not a topic that is commonly touched so this would be a good thing to bring awareness to. I didn’t know how severe diabetes was until I learned more about it,” said Jasmine Jathool, a sophomore majoring in psychology and the pledge master of APO.
According to Medical News Today, Type 1 diabetes tends to be hereditary and appears within children in which the immune system attacks the pancreatic beta cells so that they can no longer produce insulin. According to the Center for Disease Control, around 5 percent of people have Type 1 diabetes.
On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes is caused by poor eating habits and around 90 to 95 percent of people are diagnosed with this, as Medical News Today said. However, according to the Center for Disease Control, almost 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes yearly.
“I just hope to see a lot of people come out and be interested. I’m excited that we were able to participate and have three full events this week,” said Vanhoutte, who explained that she is also learning along with others.
“It feels good knowing you’re helping someone out and bringing the community together as a whole,” Jathool added.