Diabetes Display with MyPlate

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November is American Diabetes Month, and it’s a great time to raise awareness. Try this interactive display idea to promote healthful habits…

For this activity, you will need access to a bulletin board or a large square of either poster- board or corkboard. You will also need a large image of MyPlate (available for purchase at http://nutritioneducationstore.com or you can draw your own) and a combination of magazines, pictures of foods printed from online, blank paper, and pencils.

Pin up your bulletin board, posterboard, or corkboard and mount the MyPlate poster on top of it. Pile a table with the magazines, printouts, and drawing materials.

Once everyone arrives, discuss some statistics about diabetes and its link to lifestyle. Consider covering…

  • Diabetes is a disease that happens when the body cannot properly use food for energy. Type 2 diabetes is linked to an unhealthful diet and sedentary habits.
  • Approximately 25.8 million people in the United States have diabetes. That’s 8.3% of the U.S. population. Further, 7 million of those people with diabetes don’t even know that they have it.
  • According to a study published in Diabetes Care, every kilogram of weight that an obese person loses reduces his/her risk of diabetes by 16%.

You should also discuss…

  • The diet and nutritional factors that have been linked to diabetes and diabetes risk.
  • The physical activity elements that have been linked to diabetes and diabetes risk.

Once people have a handle on the types of foods that promote good health, explain that everyone (in teams or individually) can go through these materials and either draw or cut out pictures of healthful foods that would be good to incorporate into diabetes-friendly meals. Participants should show you their finds, and, once approved, affix them to the proper section of MyPlate.

Once everyone is done, review the board and go over its highlights. Post the board in a highly-visible section of the room and offer opportunities to update or expand the board..

This lesson is excerpted from the 12 Lessons of Diabetes program, which is available in its entirety in the Nutrition Education Store.

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