And now the blue dot


It is well-known that nutrition and diabetes have a lot more in common than any other condition—well-balanced meals and physical exercise are the key factors for better management. Often, though, selection of diabetes-friendly food gets confusing for the patient and caregiver. This happens primarily due to lack of understanding of the impact of food on sugar levels.

Further, clear classification of diabetes-friendly food is an untapped area which needs expert intervention.

To address this problem, the United Diabetes Forum (UDF)—which was founded in 2008 with the vision of bringing about a consensus in management and protocol among practising diabetologists across India—is launching Project True Blue in collaboration with McCann Health.

The objective of the project is to bring about policy change in food labelling, thereby making identification of diabetes-friendly food easy. The idea is to denote diabetes-friendly food with a distinct blue dot (equivalent to the brown and green dots representing non-vegetarian and vegetarian food, respectively), thus empowering patients and enhancing their lives by helping them take right decisions. A plan has been developed with the necessary milestones to define the term diabetes-friendly.

Project True Blue aims to achieve the following:
* Define diabetic-friendly food with the help of an expert advisory committee (diabetologists, nutritionists, psychologists and UDF members)
* Validate diabetes-friendly food by doing multi-stakeholders workshops (with doctors, diabetes associations, the Indian Medical Association, dietetic associations, health journalists, lawyers, chefs, consumer NGOs, patients and the Hotel Association of India)
* Concept launch with doctors
* Concept launch with consumers

Dr Rajiv Kovil is consultant diabetologist and secretary, United Diabetes Forum.

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