Early prevention the key to curbing type 2 diabetes

TORONTO, March 23 /CNW/ - It is well known that type 2 diabetes is largely a preventable chronic disease with proper nutrition, regular physical activity and the maintenance of a healthy body weight. Yet despite growing awareness, the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) reports that more than three million Canadians currently have diabetes, with an overwhelming 90% of cases reflecting type 2 diabetes. The CDA also suggests that a child born in the year 2000 has a frightening 1 in 3 chance of developing diabetes. To wrap up National Nutrition Month, when increased attention is given to nutrition and physical activity, students across Canada are getting the prevention message so they can avoid becoming part of that 1 in 3 statistic, thanks to the Everyone Jump Celebration Concerts.

Everyone Jump is a school-based diabetes prevention program that teaches students how to prevent type 2 diabetes through the adoption of healthy behaviours. The national concert tour brings the program to life.

"The fun and interactive learning that is achieved through the Everyone Jump concerts helps kids to better internalize the health promoting messages so that we can actually start to achieve behaviour change and curb the continued rise of type 2 diabetes and obesity among children," said Chris Markham, Executive Director and CEO of Ophea. "If we don't start affecting real change in the health behaviours of young people, the consequences to the long-term health of this generation will be significant."

Beginning today until April 22nd, approximately 10,000 students at the 30 winning schools across Canada will participate in this unique edutainment experience. First launched in 2005, Everyone Jump was developed by Ophea and Children's Hour Productions, in consultation with the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Hospital for Sick Children. In partnership with Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., a leader in diabetes treatment and care, the program was expanded to thousands of students in six provinces, with the concert prizes being awarded to winners of the Everyone Jump Educational Challenge.

"The partnership between Ophea and Novo Nordisk shows the positive impact corporate and non-profit sector partnerships can make to change diabetes for the better in Canada," said Vince Lamanna, President, Novo Nordisk Canada. "With increased efforts towards prevention, we can break the upward trend of diabetes cases and reduce demand on the healthcare system."

Everyone Jump builds awareness of the importance of regular physical activity and healthy eating as a way to prevent type 2 diabetes. The resource is available to every public and Catholic elementary school in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. For a complete list of winning schools, please visit www.everyonejump.ca.

About Ophea

Ophea is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting schools and communities through quality program supports, partnerships and advocacy. Ophea is committed to working in partnership with government, school boards, boards of health, and non-government organizations to address needs and support initiatives related to school health, curriculum, and a variety of health related topics. Ophea is led by the vision that all kids will value, participate in, and make a lifelong commitment to healthy active living. For more information, visit www.ophea.net

About Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care and biopharmaceuticals. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the medical profession and society. Novo Nordisk's business is driven by the Triple Bottom Line: a commitment to economic success, environmental soundness, and social responsibility to employees and customers. For more information, visit www.novonordisk.ca.

SOURCE Ophea

For further information: For further information: Shannon Boyd, Ophea, (416) 426-7376, shannon@ophea.org

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Ophea

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